Snow Cover (SC, H-SAF)

Product available since Jan 2005

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Snow Cover (SC) is the presence of snow over land. SC plays an important role in the physics of land surface as it is involved in the processes of energy and water exchange with the atmosphere. SC is useful for the scientific community, namely for those dealing with meteorological and climate models. Accurate detection of snow in a pixel is also important for a wide range of areas related to land surface processes, including meteorology, hydrology, climatology and environmental studies.

The Snow Cover product corresponding to the identification of snow covered pixels using Visible and Infra-Red observations is maintained by the SAF on Support to Operational Hydrology and Water Management (H-SAF)

 

Product Documentation

This operational product is documented in the following documents:

Please see Product Peer-Review publications in References.

The use of LSA SAF products in publications is kindly requested to be duly acknowledged:
SC was provided by the EUMETSAT Satellite Application Facility on Land Surface Analysis (LSA SAF; Trigo et al., 2011)
http://lsa-saf.eumetsat.int

Trigo, I. F., C. C. DaCamara, P. Viterbo, J.-L. Roujean, F. Olesen, C. Barroso, F. Camacho-de Coca, D. Carrer, S. C. Freitas, J. Garcí­a-Haro, B. Geiger, F. Gellens-Meulenberghs, N. Ghilain, J. Meliá, L. Pessanha, N. Siljamo, and A. Arboleda, 2011: The Satellite Application Facility on Land Surface Analysis. Int. J. Remote Sens., 32, 2725-2744, doi: 10.1080/01431161003743199

Snow Cover (SC) is the presence of snow over land. SC plays an important role in the physics of land surface as it is involved in the processes of energy and water exchange with the atmosphere. SC is useful for the scientific community, namely for those dealing with meteorological and climate models. Accurate detection of snow in a pixel is also important for a wide range of areas related to land surface processes, including meteorology, hydrology, climatology and environmental studies.

 

Product Description

The retrieval of SC is based on detection of cloudy, snow free and snow covered pixels in the cloud mask generated by the Nowcasting and Very Short Range Forecasting Satellite Application Facility (NWC SAF) software. The SC product is calculated daily.
The Snow Cover product corresponding to the identification of snow covered pixels using Visible and Infra-Red observations is maintained by the SAF on Support to Operational Hydrology and Water Management (H-SAF)

 

Algorithm Description

The SC algorithm uses the cloud mask to determine the extent of snow. Cloud mask is calculated every 15 minutes. The SC product is generated from the cloud mask to classify each pixel as cloud free, cloudy or snow covered. These single SC fields are used to determine the daily SC field.

 

Data Characteristics

The SC product is computed within the area covered by the MSG disk, over 4 specific geographical regions (Europe, Africa - N_Africa and S_Africa- and South America), every 15 minutes.dir For each day and geographical region, the SC field and respective Quality Control (QC) data are disseminated in HDF5 format; the relevant information concerning the data fields is included in the HDF5 attributes. Also the SC field for each time slot is available.

 

Product Uncertainties

The quality of SC product depends on accuracy of classification of cloudy, cloud free and snow covered pixels in the cloud mask. The land surface heterogeneity and three-dimensional structure can produce significant variation in SC detection. An automatic Quality Control (QC) is performed on SC data, and the quality information is provided on a pixel-by-pixel basis.