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Large scale snow water status monitoring: comparison of different snow water products in the upper Colorado basins

Hydrology and Earth System Sciences

By:
, , and
DOI: 10.5194/hessd-10-3629-2013

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Abstract

We illustrate the ability to monitor the status of snowpack over large areas by using a~spatially distributed snow accumulation and ablation model in the Upper Colorado Basin. The model was forced with precipitation fields from the National Weather Service (NWS) Multi-sensor Precipitation Estimator (MPE) and the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) datasets; remaining meteorological model input data was from NOAA's Global Forecast System (GFS) model output fields. The simulated snow water equivalent (SWE) was compared to SWEs from the Snow Data Assimilation System (SNODAS) and SNOwpack TELemetry system (SNOTEL) over a~region of the Western United States that covers parts of the Upper Colorado Basin. We also compared the SWE product estimated from the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) and Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR) to the SNODAS and SNOTEL SWE datasets. Agreement between the spatial distribution of the simulated SWE with both SNODAS and SNOTEL was high for the two model runs for the entire snow accumulation period. Model-simulated SWEs, both with MPE and TRMM, were significantly correlated spatially on average with the SNODAS (r = 0.81 and r = 0.54; d.f. = 543) and the SNOTEL SWE (r = 0.85 and r = 0.55; d.f. = 543), when monthly basinwide simulated average SWE the correlation was also highly significant (r = 0.95 and r = 0.73; d.f. = 12). The SWE estimated from the passive microwave imagery was not correlated either with the SNODAS SWE or (r = 0.14, d.f. = 7) SNOTEL-reported SWE values (r = 0.08, d.f. = 7). The agreement between modeled SWE and the SWE recorded by SNODAS and SNOTEL weakened during the snowmelt period due to an underestimation bias of the air temperature that was used as model input forcing.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Large scale snow water status monitoring: comparison of different snow water products in the upper Colorado basins
Series title:
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
DOI:
10.5194/hessd-10-3629-2013
Volume
10
Year Published:
2013
Language:
English
Publisher:
European Geosciences Union
Contributing office(s):
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description:
36 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
First page:
3629
Last page:
3664
Country:
United States
Other Geospatial:
Colorado Basin