The SNOTEL Data Acquisition System Design, Operation, and Uses

by Arthur G. Crook, WNTC, Data Collection Group, Portland, OR, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water for Resource Development


The Soil Conservation Service (SCS), U. S. Department of Agriculture, coordinates measurement of the winter snowpack in the Rockies, Sierra Nevada, Cascades, and other major mountain ranges in the West and forecasts spring and summer streamflow. Currently, about 1,700 snow courses are surveyed each winter and forecasts are prepared, in conjunction with the National Weather Service, for 500 locations in the West. These forecasts aid water users in the management of the region's limited, and often scarce, water supplies. Recently, SCS implemented its automated snowpack telemetry system (SNOTEL), which provides real-time snowpack, rainfall, and temperature data from remote, high mountain areas. System design and reliability are discussed.

Subject Headings: Data collection | Snow | Winter | Mountains | Water shortage | Agriculture | System reliability | Hydrologic data | United States | Nevada | South Carolina

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