Satellite Imagery to Find Snow Pack

February 14th, 2013 at 9:25 pm by under Weather

Visible satellite image of the Southern Plains, image courtesy NCAR.

Meteorologists use satellite imagery to locate clouds every single day.   The image above is visible satellite with the clouds showing up as white.  Since snow has the same rate of reflectivity as clouds, snow will also show up.   Can you find the snow in the image above?

Snow pack highlighted on visible satellite image of Southern Plains, image courtesy NCAR.

In this image, I have highlighted the recent snow that the Texas Panhandle and Western Oklahoma picked up on Tuesday.   So, how do I know the difference between snow pack and clouds?   If you were able to animate this image, the clouds would move, but the snow would not.   Also, if you look closely, you can see the valleys and rivers in Northwestern Oklahoma.

Next time we have significant snow and a sunny sky, I will post an image of our snow pack from as viewed from visible satellite.

One Response to “Satellite Imagery to Find Snow Pack”

  1. Bill Seidel says:

    Was able to visit a National Weather Service facility a few days ago, and actually got a tutorial on the satellite imagery you discuss above. You guys sure have some great toys. :-)