Snow cover is the land area blanketed in snow at any given time and air temperature is one of the main factors determining the amount of precipitation falling on land as snow and its melting rate.

In many regions of the world, warming trends are inducing fewer snow falls and earlier snow melt. More particularly, climate change has made California dryer and hotter, which means that more rain than snow is now falling. The decreasing snow cover and the shift in snow season are contributing factors to the megadrought this state has been experiencing since year 2000 and these past 22 years have been the driest years in at least 1200 years based on tree ring records.

Monitoring snow cover is thus of prime importance to determine the amount of available water in areas. With their high spatial and temporal resolution and coverage, the Earth observation satellites of the European programme Copernicus constitute key tools to assess the snow cover on a regular basis.

In this webinar, we will process products collected by the Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI) on board Sentinel-3 to compute the Normalized Difference Snow Index (NDSI) which is a key indicator on the presence of snow. We will also show you how to benefit from the RUS Service to download, analyse and visualize the free data acquired by the Copernicus satellites. 

You can replay this webinar through our RUS Copernicus Training channel available on Youtube.

You can also retrieve the corresponding training support in the Train with RUS section of the RUS portal


RUS Webinar – Snow cover mapping with Sentinel-3 – 5 Oct. 2021