J3.2 50 Years of Satellite Snow Cover Extent Mapping Over Northern Hemisphere Lands

Wednesday, 25 January 2017: 8:45 AM
605 (Washington State Convention Center )
David A. Robinson, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ

Fall 2016 marked a half-century of continuous satellite mapping of snow cover extent (SCE) over Northern Hemisphere lands.  NOAA has produced the primary dataset throughout this time, recently in cooperation with the US Navy and Coast Guard at the National Ice Center.  Throughout the 50 years, trained analysts have primarily employed visible satellite imagery and interactive means of mapping the SCE on a weekly (1966-1999) and daily (1999-present) basis.  The dataset has been carefully evaluated over the years to ensure the best possible continuity in what has emerged as a primary satellite climate data record (CDR).  In fact, this CDR is the longest, continuous satellite-derived environmental record in existence.  This presentation will discuss the history of the mapping program, trends and variability in SCE over the decades gleaned from the maps, and the utilization of this CDR in numerous climate studies. It will also include the first presentation of a short-term climatology (1999-present) based on the 24 km resolution Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System product.
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