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NASA measuring US Snowpack


Active member
Mar 19, 2012
Montreal/Jay Peak
The article is a bit misleading. You cannot measure snow water equivalent (SWE). The LIDAR measures snow depth by simply comparing a survey made in the summer with a survey in the winter (at a very high precision). Snow depth has to be converted into SWE using empirical methods that may or may not include albedo which is a measure of snow pack age.

Anyway, this is high tech stuff that is much better than any other available method. It is also a very expensive method...

It would be interesting to do a mid winter survey of ski resort to see by how much they lie about their snowpack depth.