DETECTION OF RAIN-ON-SNOW EVENTS AND ITS IMPACT ON PASSIVE MICROWAVE-BASED SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT RETRIEVAL
Ryan, Elizabeth Meghan
Forman, Barton A
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Rain-on-snow (ROS) events can impact snow stratigraphy via generation of wet snow and ice crust(s) within the snowpack. Considering the assumptions of most passive microwave-based snow water equivalent (SWE) retrievals, which include a dry and homogenous snowpack, ROS events could significantly impact SWE retrieval accuracy. This study explored the feasibility of various approaches to detect ROS events using multiple data types (i.e., satellite observations, model output, and in-situ measurements). Agreement in ROS events detected varied among the different data types. Only ~10% of suspected ROS events were flagged using the satellite-based algorithm. Alternatively, ~50% of suspected ROS events were flagged using the model-based algorithm, whereas ~40% of suspected ROS events were flagged using the in-situ measurements-based algorithm. Findings were unable to speak to the impact of ROS events on SWE retrieval accuracy due to the lack of in-situ SWE measurements; however, a slight pattern in local fluctuations was observed.