Validation of Polar View and H-SAF Snow Monitoring Products on the Territory of Germany
Appel, Florian1; Bach, Heike1; Krahe, Peter2
1Vista Remote Sensing in Geosciences GmbH, GERMANY; 2Federal Institute of Hydrology, Department M2 „Water Balance, Forecasting and Predictions“, GERMANY

Several snow cover monitoring products resulting from ESA and EUMETSAT activities are available for the area of Europe. With view to the requirements of hydrological institutes and authorities that offer services and information (such as flood forecasts), the provision of daily snow cover maps based on satellite information has reached an operational stage by a network of service providers. For the quality assurance of the products and to convince the users of their reliability, elaborated validation procedures are regularly applied.

This poster presents the validation of ESA GSE Polar View snow products on the German territory and the additional four types of EUMETSAT H-SAF snow-monitoring products. The snow cover maps of Central Europe, provided by Vista within Polar View are dedicated regional products on the catchment of the River Rhine. The H-SAF products that cover the whole of Europe are supplied on behalf of EUMETSAT by different service providers from Turkey and Finland.

Within the study presented here, the operational snow cover products H10 of H-SAF and the operational Polar View products of the season 2010 / 2011 had been validated in detail. The additional H-SAF H11, H12 and H13 products that are currently still in the pre-operational or developing phases were also briefly analyzed.

All Earth Observation (EO) products had been compared against ground observations for the area of Germany, contain daily information on snow depth and snow properties, for more than 2000 stations in Germany, based on datasets of the German Weather Service DWD.

Validation results the operational H-SAF snow products and comparable Polar View snow product for Germany will be presented. Both products performed satisfactorily, with the Polar View products reaching higher quality levels. The differences in the general product quality can be explained by the different sensors and algorithms applied and the divergent strategies of service approaches. Significant differences between the products that occurred sometimes on single days are discussed and explained in additional case studies. The results of the pre-operational snow water equivalent (H13) and snow-status products (H11), together with products from Polar View, and their potential for operational hydrology are discussed. As a general result, the advantages of regional snow products, with dedicated algorithms and applicable spatial resolution for hydrological applications, are advisable.