SNOTEL: a management tool for the future

TitleSNOTEL: a management tool for the future
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1981
AuthorsMcMillan, G. D.
Conference Name49th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 49th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1981
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationSt. George, Utah
KeywordsSnow sensor, Snow survey, Water supply forecasting, Watershed Management

SNOTEL (for Snow Telemetry) is the automated portion of the Soil Conservation Service's snow survey and water supply forecasting activity. The 480 SNOTEL sites and two master stations make-up the largest known application of 'meteor burst' technology. Each site reports the water equivalent of snowpack, accumulated precipitation, and air temperature. Data from SNOTEL are used with snow course measurements to forecast snowmelt runoff. Those who benefit from SNOTEL include farmers and many individuals and agencies responsible for flood control, municipal water supply, reservoir management, power generation, recreation, industry, and fish and wildlife management. In the 1980's, SCS will focus its snow survey efforts on: (1) Further refining the SNOTEL system; (2) analyzing water user's real-time data needs; (3) strengthening cooperative relationships with others involved in the surveys or in managing water resources in the West; and (4) integrating the snow survey program into overall inventorying and monitoring efforts of SCS.