87th AMS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 16 January 2007: 3:45 PM
High-resolution monitoring of snow properties using the WRF technology
211 (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Do Hyuk Kang, Duke University, Durham, NC; and A. P. Barros
The main goal of this study is to characterize the relationship between the complex permittivity of snow and snow physical properties using wireless radio frequency (WRF) technology. Since the early study by Cumming (1952) who investigated the permittivity of dry snow at 9.375 GHz based on the mixture theory of Polder and van Santen (1946), various researchers have studied the permittivity of dry, wet, new, old, and melting snow (Hallikainen et al. 1986, Matzler 1996, Frolov and Macheret 1999, Sweeny and Colbeck 1974, and many others.) However, previous studies of snow dielectrics have been conducted with a limited number of field samples at isolated locations, thus unable to capture the high spatial and temporal variability of the snowpack that is needed for remote-sensing retrieval algorithms that rely on observations at very coarse scales (10's km).

In this paper, we introduce a new measurement capability based on WRF technology that allows distributed and undisturbed observations of snowpack properties at high spatial and temporal resolutions over large areas. Our objective is to use these ground-based observations to learn how snowpack heterogeneities determine the scaling behavior of snowpack dielectric properties. Results from preliminary tests will be presented.

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