Strengths and Weaknesses of different Satellite Sensors for Snow Monitoring in Lebanon

Project start 01.04.2015
Project end 31.12.2015
Topics Research & cooperation
Region World
Status Completed projects

Water is a vital and scarce resource in the Middle East. In Lebanon snow is an important seasonal water reservoir. In the context of the project “Strengths and Weaknesses of different Satellite Sensors for Snow Monitoring in Lebanon” MeteoSwiss evaluated the suitability of various satellite sensors for snow monitoring in Lebanon, based on previously collected user requirements.

Snow as water reservoir

The project is part of the „Blue Peace“ initiative of the Swiss Development Agency (SDC). “Blue Peace” aims to support the peace building dialog through the resource water. Steps towards a sustainable regional water management should be particulary promoted.

In Lebanon, most of the precipitation occurs in the winter months, in the form of snow. Information about the spatial distribution of snow and the amount of water stored within the snow pack is therefore of interest for various applications. As a result of a user consultation with local stakeholders, the following three Areas of Interest (AoI) could be identified: water storage and run-off, climatological analyzes, and the transportation sector.

Information about snow cover via traditional ground measurement networks is limited in Lebanon. In areas without –or with sparsly available— snow measuring stations, satellite sensors provide the opportunity to gather information about spatio-temporal variations of snow cover.

Satellite snow cover monitoring

Satellite sensors have been used for many years to collect information about different snow parameters over large spatial scales with high temporal and spatial resolution. Long time series of satellite observations enable the detection of trends and can support the assessment of future impacts of climate change. On behalf of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) MeteoSwiss assessed legacy, current and planned satellite sensors, snow products and methodologies regarding their usability for the identified areas of interest in Lebanon.

Recommendations for snow monitoring in Lebanon

Together with WMO and the local stakeholders, MeteoSwiss compiled a set of recommendations for future snow monitoring activities in Lebanon. In doing so, a contribution could be made to further increase the understanding and use of snow remote sensing methods in Lebanon. In addition, the coordination and knowledge transfer between the local stakeholder agencies was promoted in the framework of the project.

Further information