Climate Program Office News

12 Jan 2021

Western Water Assessment Releases New Snowpack Data User Guide for the Mountain West

Western Water Assessment Releases New Snowpack Data User Guide for the Mountain West

The Western Water Assessment (WWA), a CPO Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) team, has released "Snowpack Monitoring in the Rocky Mountain West: A User Guide." WWA developed the guide to fill a need for more information about how snowpack is monitored in the Rocky Mountain West and how to access snowpack data. The guide is intended for water managers, decision makers, forecasters, researchers, and others who use, collect, and produce snow information. 

The guide includes:

  • an overview of the fundamental characteristics of Rocky Mountain snowpack, the processes that drive its variability, and the challenges of sampling such a dynamic resource;

  • information about the key role of snowpack in seasonal water supply forecasting;

  • descriptions of SNOwpack TELemetry (SNOTEL), snow course, and other networks of point observations;

  • a summary of remote sensing systems and models for obtaining spatial estimates of snowpack; and 

  • practical guidance on accessing, interpreting, and applying snow data. 

View the user guide »



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The Climate Program Office (CPO) manages competitive research programs in which NOAA funds high-priority climate science, assessments, decision support research, outreach, education, and capacity-building activities designed to advance our understanding of Earth’s climate system, and to foster the application of this knowledge in risk management and adaptation efforts.  CPO-supported research is conducted in regions across the United States, at national and international scales, and globally.  Learn more...


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