Monday, 23 January 2017
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NOAA NESDIS) has an extensive history of operational snow and ice monitoring in the northern hemisphere through the Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS). The IMS provides analysts the ability to interactively create, save, and distribute highly accurate products. The daily production of the IMS analysis is a rigorous process that includes five major steps: 1) familiarization of the previous day’s analysis 2) knowledge and retrieval of available data 3) incorporation of the “follow-the-sun” approach (i.e. first available visible imagery) 4) analyzing snow and ice, and 5) quality control. The IMS analysis serves as one of the most dependable long term records for northern hemispheric mapping of snow and ice. The products have reached beyond the operational user base of the National Centers of Environmental Prediction (NCEP), the United States military, and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), to include academic institutions as well as research groups investigating climate variability and change. The production process has ensured consistent operational analyses since 1997. While planned future advancements with imagery and upgrades to the IMS will serve to enhance accuracy, the daily production process remains the foundation to accurate and timely snow and ice products.
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