Gridded snow water equivalent estimation using ground-based and airborne snow data

TitleGridded snow water equivalent estimation using ground-based and airborne snow data
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1993
AuthorsMcManamon, A., Szeliga T. L., Hartman R. K., Day G. N., and Carroll T. R.
Conference Name61st Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 61st Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedJune 1993
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationQuebec City, Quebec
KeywordsGIS, Model, Snow cover

The National Weather Service (NWS) has developed a methodology to generate real-time gridded (1km) snow water equivalent estimates using ground-based and airborne snow data. The gridded snow water equivalents incorporate the spatial variability of the snowpack induced by orographic effects in the West. A baseline system is currently being implemented by the NWS over the Colorado River basin above Lake Powell.The Snow Estimating and Updating System (SEUS) uses a geographic information system (GIS) to store, analyze and display gridded, point and line data, such as elevation, basin boundaries and snow observations. The system has a calibration component to define basin-specific parameters, and an operational component to ingest real-time data and calculate gridded snow water equivalent estimates, and updating component to incorporate the ground-based snow water equivalent estimates into a conceptual hydrologic model. This paper reviews the system implementation and the results of operational testing during the 1993 snow season.