Snow Cover Product Comparison Article Published

A snow covered hill with snowy pine trees

Ralph Ferraro was a co-author on an article published in Advances in Meteorology titled “Intercomparison and Validation of MIRS, MSPPS, and IMS Snow Cover Products”.


In the piece, the researchers looked at NOAA Snow Cover Products generated from satellite microwave sensors.  They compared satellite snow cover from the Microwave Integrated Retrieval System (MiRs), the Microwave Surface and Precipitation Products System (MSPPS), and the NOAA Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS).


Using IMS for validation, the team compared daily maps for the Northern Hemisphere for 2014 to 2017.  The figures to the left shows an example of four days from 2016: the 29th day of January, April, July, and October.  On the map, the white area is correctly identified snow cover and the green area is correctly identified non-snow cover.  From these results, the authors determined that MIRS shows fewer false positives (oranges) but more false negatives (red) than MSPPS over high elevation and grassland areas.


The lead author, Jessica Chiu, is currently a student at The City College of New York (CCNY).  The second author is Stephany Paredes-Mesa, a previous NOAA Experiential Research & Training Opportunities visitor at CISESS and recent CCNY graduate.  The other co-authors include CISESS Consortium Scientists Tarendra Lakhankar, Peter Romanov and Reza Khanbilvardi from the NOAA-Center for Earth System Sciences and Remote Sensing Technologies at CCNY.


Ferraro is the Chief of the NOAA/NESDIS Satellite Climate Studies Branch (collocated with CISESS in College Park, MD) and an ESSIC / CISESS Visiting Associate Research Scientist.  He is also a member of NASA’s Precipitation Measurement Mission and AMSR science teams, rapporteur to the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites for the International Precipitation Working Group and former chair of the AMS and NWA committees on Satellite Meteorology.


To access the piece, click here: “Intercomparison and Validation of MIRS, MSPPS, and IMS Snow Cover Products”.