Enhancements to, and forthcoming developments in the Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS)


  • This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NOAA/NESDIS) Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS) has undergone substantial changes since its inception in 1997. These changes include the data sources used to generate the product, methodology of product creation, and even changes in the output. Among the most notable of the past upgrades to the IMS are a 4-km resolution grid output, ingest of an automated snow detection algorithm, expansion to a global extent, and a static Digital Elevation Model for mapping based on elevation. Further developments to this dynamic system will continue as NOAA strives to improve snow parameterization for weather forecast modeling. Several future short-term enhancements will be evaluated for possible transition to operations before the Northern Hemisphere winter of 2006–2007. Current and historical data will be adopted to a geographic information systems (GIS) format before 2007, as well. Longer-term enhancements are also planned to account for new snow data sources, mapping methodologies and user requirements. These modifications are being made with care to preserve the integrity of the long-standing satellite-derived snow record that is vital to global change detection. Published in 2007 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.