A history of snow research at the University of Idaho

TitleA history of snow research at the University of Idaho
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1982
AuthorsMolnau, M., and Warnick C. C.
Conference Name50th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 50th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1982
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationReno, Nevada
KeywordsEquipment, History, Idaho, Snow, Snow hydrology

Water stored in the snow reservoir is very important to the economy of Idaho. The operation and management of irrigation projects, power, fisheries resources and recreation all depend upon the water stored in the snow and released during the spring melt. The Engineering Experiment Station conducted studies on precipitation gages from 1948 to 1959. Projects were then started to develop reliable radio transmitting and receiving equipment that could function in the hostile winter mountain climate. At the same time, parallel development of hydrologic sensors was being carried out. These sensors, for precipitation, temperature, snow water equivalent, etc., had to not only be rugged but had to accurately measure the variable in question.One of the best of these sensors, the snow pillow, was first installed in 1961. This was the first pillow installed anywhere.Snow hydrology studies have concentrated on snowmelt modelling on agricultural lands, frozen ground simulation and infiltration and uses of snow data in building design.