Canadian Forest Service Publications
Associations between spatially autocorrelated patterns of SSM/I-derived prairie snow cover and atmospheric circulation. 1998. Derksen, C.; Wulder, M.A.; LeDrew, E.; Goodison, B. Hydrological Processes 12: 2307-2316.
Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 5159
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Passive-microwave derived observations of snow cover show potential to provide synoptically sensitive, and hydrologically and climatologically significant, information because of all-weather imaging capabilities, rapid scene revisit time and the ability to derive quantitative estimates of snow water equivalent (SWE). In this study, we seek to identify the dominant patterns of clustering in SWE imagery using the Getis statistic, a local indicator of spatial association. The SWE data were derived from five day-averaged Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) brightness temperatures using the Canadian Atmospheric Environment Service dual channel algorithm. The analysed data span one winter season (December-February 1988-1989) and are limited to a ground-validated prairie scene. National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) gridded atmospheric data (500 mb geopotential height; 700 mb temperature) were incorporated into the study to investigate whether the spatial orientation of the Getis statistic clusters provides information on interaction between snow cover and the atmosphere. Results show that the direction of atmospheric airflow as expressed by the 500 mb geopotential height field corresponds strongly to the orientation of surface snow cover clusters with no time lag. The 700 mb temperature field is also a controlling influence on the snow cover clusters both through modifying cluster orientation and reinforcing cluster magnitude.