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  • Author or Editor: Claire Pettersen x
  • Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM): Science and Applications x
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Ali Tokay
Annakaisa von Lerber
Claire Pettersen
Mark S. Kulie
Dmitri N. Moisseev
, and
David B. Wolff


Performance of the Precipitation Imaging Package (PIP) for estimating the snow water equivalent (SWE) is evaluated through a comparative study with the collocated National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Weather Service snow stake field measurements. The PIP together with a vertically pointing radar, a weighing bucket gauge, and a laser-optical disdrometer was deployed at the NWS Marquette, Michigan, office building for a long-term field study supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Global Precipitation Measurement mission Ground Validation program. The site was also equipped with a weather station. During the 2017/18 winter, the PIP functioned nearly uninterrupted at frigid temperatures accumulating 2345.8 mm of geometric snow depth over a total of 499 h. This long record consists of 30 events, and the PIP-retrieved and snow stake field measured SWE differed less than 15% in every event. Two of the major events with the longest duration and the highest accumulation are examined in detail. The particle mass with a given diameter was much lower during a shallow, colder, uniform lake-effect event than in the deep, less cold, and variable synoptic event. This study demonstrated that the PIP is a robust instrument for operational use, and is reliable for deriving the bulk properties of falling snow.

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