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Snow Products

This webinar focuses on remote sensing snow products with a primary focus on MODIS snow cover, grain size, and dust impacts on snow melt. Application examples are focused mostly on the western U.S. 

Course Format: 
  • Four one-hour sessions
  • Introductory Webinar

No previous remote sensing experience required. 


This course is intended for individuals at the local, state and federal level, NGOs, international management agencies and private sector organizations interested in snow applications.

Registration Information: 

Recordings of this webinar are unavailable, but presentation slides are available for download. 

Session One: Foundations of Remote Sensing, Snow, and Snowmelt

An overview of remote sensing with space and airborne platforms, why remote sensing is a compliment to in situ measurements, the interaction of sunlight with snow surfaces, physical controls on snowmelt and how they vary, sensitivity of runoff, the shape of the spectral reflectance of snow, and how to leverage special information from satellites and airborne platforms to derive snow properties. 

Session Two: Daily Snow Covered Area, Grain Size, and Albedo

NASA water science, direct products including fractional snow covered area, grain size and applications, as well as derived products including snow water equivalent reconstruction, ice products and applications. 

Session Three: Daily Dust Radiative Forcing in Snow

Definitions, Light Absorbing Impurities in Snow and Ice (LAISI) - dust and black carbon, generation of dust radiative forcing, MODIS Dust Radiative Forcing in Snow (MODDRFS) model and case study application, case study of influence of dust radiative forcing in snow on runoff forecasting. 

Session Four: Access to NASA Snow Products

An introduction to the snow data system: data sets and functionality, near real-time and historic MODIS snow cover and size processing systems, near real-time and historic MODIS dust radiative forcing processing systems, and data access of Western Energy Balance of Snow (WEBS), SNOWMAP and Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV).

Application Area: