– ISSPI-1 was a CliC sponsored workshop

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The report of the 1st International Satellite Snow Products Intercomparison workshop (ISSPI-1) held on July 21-23, 2014, NOAA Center for Weather & Climate Prediction (NCWCP), in Maryland, USA, is available.

Overall 42 scientists from institutions working in seasonal snow pack monitoring met to discuss plans to assess the quality of current satellite-based snow products and work out guidelines for improvements.

The following items were discussed in the splinter session on Snow Extent (SE):
-Products participating in the SnowPEx Intercomparison
-Protocols and methods for validation of global /hemispheric SE data
                -SE reference data set
                                -reference SE data from Landsat data
                                -In-situ snow data for key regions
-Intercomparison of global / hemispheric / continental SE products
                                -Protocols Methods (Spatial and temporal differences)
                                -Selection of periods

The following issues were discussed in the Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) splinter session:
-Products participating in the SnowPEx SWE intercomparison
-Reference SWE datasets
-Protocols for evaluation of SWE products using reference datasets
-Protocols for intercomparison of continental-scale SWE products and trend analysis

It was clarified that the target user community for the SnowPEx SWE intercomparison is the climate community, which is appropriate given the relatively coarse spatial resolution (25 km) but long available time series (1979-present) of the SWE products. Examples of the climate user community include the upcoming IPCC 6th Assessment Report, and the recently initiated Earth System Model–Snow Model Intercomparison Project (ESM-SnowMIP). Both of these activities require observational SWE time series with quantified uncertainty estimates, which will be delivered by the SnowPEx effort. Other potential user communities, such as the hydrologi cal community, require SWE information at spatial resolutions not available from current satellite products. Focusing on these communities could be the focus of future phases of SnowPEx.

More information on the Satellite Snow Product Intercomparison and Evaluation Experiment is available on the SnowPEX webpage.