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SNOW SURVEY, SNOTEL (SNOwpack TELemetry) & SCAN (Soil Climate Analysis Network) Presented at NWS Cold Regions Workshop November 15 - 19, 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "SNOW SURVEY, SNOTEL (SNOwpack TELemetry) & SCAN (Soil Climate Analysis Network) Presented at NWS Cold Regions Workshop November 15 - 19, 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 SNOW SURVEY, SNOTEL (SNOwpack TELemetry) & SCAN (Soil Climate Analysis Network) Presented at NWS Cold Regions Workshop November , 2004

2 2 NRCS-NWCC Mission: Mission: The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), National Water and Climate Center (NWCC) mission is to lead the development and transfer of water and climate information technology that supports natural resources conservation. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), National Water and Climate Center (NWCC) mission is to lead the development and transfer of water and climate information technology that supports natural resources conservation.

3 3 Snow Survey History Dr. Church Snow Survey History Dr. Church

4 4 Federal Snow Sampler

5 5 SNOW COURSES Large Manual Climate Network Large Manual Climate Network Began in 1930s Began in 1930s Over 1500 remote sites Over 1500 remote sites Generally in high elevation areas Generally in high elevation areas Located in the 12 Western States and Alaska Located in the 12 Western States and Alaska Monthly Measurements Monthly Measurements Collects Depth and SWE Collects Depth and SWE

6 6 SNOTEL Large Automated Climate Network Large Automated Climate Network Began in 1978 Began in 1978 Over 700 remote site Over 700 remote site Generally in high elevation areas Generally in high elevation areas Located in the 12 Western States and Alaska Located in the 12 Western States and Alaska Utilizes meteor burst communication technology to telemeter data Utilizes meteor burst communication technology to telemeter data

7 7 SNOTEL Meteor Burst Communication Technology

8 8 SNOTEL Coverage

9 9 SNOTEL Typical Sensors Typical Sensors Snow Pillow used to measure snow water content (Fluid based system) Snow Pillow used to measure snow water content (Fluid based system) All Season Precipitation Gage All Season Precipitation Gage Air Temperature Air Temperature Includes current, 24 hour: maximum, minimum, and average Includes current, 24 hour: maximum, minimum, and average Snow Depth Snow Depth

10 10 SNOTEL Other Sensor Other Sensor Relative Humidity Relative Humidity Solar Radiation Solar Radiation Wind Speed and Direction Wind Speed and Direction Barometric Pressure Barometric Pressure Water Level Water Level Soil Moisture and Temperature Soil Moisture and Temperature Fuel Moisture Fuel Moisture Water Quality Water Quality

11 11 SNOTEL SNOTEL Properties SNOTEL Properties – Utilizes Battery Packs and Solar Panels – Hourly Data Transmission Possible – 99 % Daily System Response – Real-Time Data Validation – Quality Controlled Data Set – Computer Accessible in near real-time – Analysis Products Available

12 12 SNOTEL/Snow Course SITE SELECTION Accessibility Accessibility Security Security Gentle Slope Gentle Slope Aspect Aspect Protected by wind Protected by wind Solar Window Solar Window Area of Representation (Precipitation/Elevation Area Analysis) Area of Representation (Precipitation/Elevation Area Analysis)

13 13 Typical SNOTEL Site

14 14 SNOTEL Snow Pillow

15 15 SCAN (Soil Climate Analysis Network) Background Background A pilot project was started in 1991 A pilot project was started in 1991 Pilot project objectives were to: Pilot project objectives were to: Develop technical expertise in monitoring Soil- Climate interface Develop technical expertise in monitoring Soil- Climate interface Demonstrate the technical feasibility for a nationwide data network Demonstrate the technical feasibility for a nationwide data network The current network has 90 sites in 36 states The current network has 90 sites in 36 states

16 16 SCAN Site Locations

17 17 SCAN Real-Time Monitoring Real-Time Monitoring Uses meteor burst communication to obtain remote site data Uses meteor burst communication to obtain remote site data Collects hourly data Collects hourly data

18 18 SCAN Typical Data Parameters Monitored Typical Data Parameters Monitored Atmospheric Monitoring Atmospheric Monitoring Precipitation: incremental or accumulated Precipitation: incremental or accumulated Air Temperature: current, maximum, minimum, and average hourly and 24 hour Air Temperature: current, maximum, minimum, and average hourly and 24 hour Solar Radiation: hourly and 24 hour average Solar Radiation: hourly and 24 hour average

19 19 SCAN Atmospheric Monitoring (Continued) Atmospheric Monitoring (Continued) Wind speed and direction: hourly and daily average and maximum wind speed for the hour Wind speed and direction: hourly and daily average and maximum wind speed for the hour Relative humidity: current, maximum, minimum, and average hourly Relative humidity: current, maximum, minimum, and average hourly Barometric pressure: current Barometric pressure: current

20 20 SCAN Below Ground Monitoring Below Ground Monitoring Soil moisture: Soil moisture: 2, 4, 8, 20, and 40 inch depths 2, 4, 8, 20, and 40 inch depths Current Current Soil temperature: Soil temperature: 2, 4, 8, 20, and 40 inch depths 2, 4, 8, 20, and 40 inch depths Current Current

21 21 Typical SCAN Site

22 22 SCAN Sensors All season storage precipitation gage All season storage precipitation gage 30 inch capacity 30 inch capacity Weighing gage Weighing gage 0.01 inch resolution 0.01 inch resolution

23 23 SCAN Sensors Tipping bucket precipitation gage Tipping bucket precipitation gage 0.01 inch resolution 0.01 inch resolution

24 24 SCAN Sensors Relative Humidity Relative Humidity Air Temperature Air Temperature

25 25 SCAN Sensors Solar Radiation Solar Radiation

26 26 SCAN Sensors Wind Speed and Direction Wind Speed and Direction

27 27 SCAN Sensors Snow Pillow for measuring snow water content Snow Pillow for measuring snow water content

28 28 SCAN Sensors Snow Depth Snow Depth 0.5 inch resolution 0.5 inch resolution

29 29 SCAN Sensors Soil Moisture and Temperature Soil Moisture and Temperature Typically measured at 5 depths (2, 4, 8, 20, 40 inches) Typically measured at 5 depths (2, 4, 8, 20, 40 inches)

30 30 Uses of SNOTEL & SCAN Data Drought and flood monitoring and mitigation Drought and flood monitoring and mitigation Streamflow forecasting Streamflow forecasting Reservoir operations management Reservoir operations management Irrigation water management Irrigation water management Fire risk assessment Fire risk assessment Crop production Crop production Disease and pest outbreak mitigation Disease and pest outbreak mitigation Natural resource management Natural resource management Recreation Recreation Avalanche Forecasting Avalanche Forecasting

31 31 SNOTEL and SCAN Data Access Data Access Data available on NWCC homepage Data available on NWCC homepage FTP access for various text based products FTP access for various text based products SHEF encoded data via NOAA Family of Services SHEF encoded data via NOAA Family of Services Direct system access via User Access Agreements Direct system access via User Access Agreements

32 32 SNOTEL and SCAN Conclusion Conclusion Near Real-time monitoring Near Real-time monitoring Snow Survey data has a long period of record. Snow Survey data has a long period of record. Greater than 10-year life expectancy Greater than 10-year life expectancy Cost efficient systems Cost efficient systems Low maintenance requirements Low maintenance requirements Capability of monitoring other data parameters, such as: Capability of monitoring other data parameters, such as: water depth, water quality, water level, etc.. water depth, water quality, water level, etc..

33 33 Contacts Garry L. Schaefer, Water & Climate Monitoring Branch Leader 101 SE Main St., Suite 1600 Portland, OR Phone: Fax: Garry L. Schaefer, Water & Climate Monitoring Branch Leader 101 SE Main St., Suite 1600 Portland, OR Phone: Fax: Tony Tolsdorf, Hydrologist 101 SE Main St., Suite 1600 Portland, OR Phone: Fax: Tony Tolsdorf, Hydrologist 101 SE Main St., Suite 1600 Portland, OR Phone: Fax:


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