ESSEM COST Action ES1404: A European network for a harmonised monitoring of snow for the benefit of climate change scenarios, hydrology and numerical weather prediction

Workshop: Towards a better harmonization of snow observations, modeling and data assimilation in Europe, 30 - 31 October 2018

Location: Budapest, Hungary

Date: Tuesday - Wednesday, October 30 - 31.10, 2018
Place: Conference center of the Hotel Gellért, 2 Szent Gellért tér, 1114 Budapest, Hungary
The Art Nouveau style Hotel Gellért is located in the heart of Budapest, overlooking the beautiful Danube river, at the foot of the Gellért hill and within walking distance to the city center. It is easily reachable by public transport from the Liszt Ferenc International Airport and all major train stations. The hotel also has its own thermal bath complex.
Booking of hotel rooms on sight will be available from mid-July. Please note, there is a limited number of rooms available. Other hotel options in the vicinity will be offered later.

There is no fee for the registration but registration is mandatory as the number of participants is limited to 150. Coffee breaks are offered. We also have a few travel support grants for Early Stage Researchers (up to PhD plus 6 years). Application is done during the abstract submission and the selection will be done by the scientific committee.

Important dates:

7 September 2018: abstract submission deadline. Abstract submission form is now available here
21 September 2018: acceptance for oral/poster
21 September 2018: registration without abstract open
15 October 2018: registration deadline (or up to 150 participants)


Each session will have posters and 3-5 talks (15 min incl. discussion) depending on submissions.

1. Intercomparison of measurement methods , remote sensing product and assessment of their errors
Chair: Leena Leppänen, Nacho Lopez Moreno

Nowadays a wide range of instruments and products are available to measure the extent, water mass, precipitation, physical and the chemical properties of snow. Comparison of these instruments is important for producing consistent observations. This session welcomes presentations about the intercomparison of methods and techniques to measure the properties of snow and assess measurement errors. These include i) manual devices to measure snow depth, water mass and liquid water content, ii) automatic instruments to measure snow depth, water mass and precipitation, iii) snow microstructure measurements, iv) measurements of the chemical composition, and v) satellite and remote sensing observations.

2. Recommendations on measurement methods and instrumentation
Chair: Ladislav Holko, Charles Fierz

Measurement or indirect assessment of snow characteristics comprise of a variety of approaches which are applied by different groups or institutes around the world in slightly different ways. This results in differences that limit the comparability of these measurements and indirect assessments . This session welcomes efforts of standardization of the measurement protocols, recommendations on the use of instruments and other methods of acquisition of snow characteristics and homogenization of the imperfect observations. Operational and research applications at any scales (point measurements in snow pits or at meteorological stations, snow transects, satellite images, etc.) are welcome.

3. Snow observation reporting and dissemination
Chair: Samantha Pullen and Ghislain Picard

Observations of snow properties are of vital importance for use by a wide range of applications including operational services and research applications. To fully exploit these valuable observational data there must be a harmonised approach to observation reporting practices, data formats and dissemination. The data must be freely available with a timeliness that satisfies user requirements. In this session we welcome contributions that address topics related to harmonised approaches to observations of snowpack properties and initiatives to make these observations available and useable by the international community for operational and research purposes. Possible topics include (but are not restricted to): harmonised reporting practice, regional in situ observation networks, snow data exchange, Data formats for snow observations, Observation-model interfaces — e.g. observation processing methods and software for standardising uptake of observations into models, archives of observations of snow properties

4. Snow data assimilation methods in NWP, hydrology, and other disciplines
Chair: Ekaterina Kurzeneva, Carlo De Michele

This session is about how snow observations are used through data assimilation techniques to improve forecasting for different applications. We welcome contributions showing reviews and perspectives in the domain of DA, inter-comparisons of techniques or progress towards standardization of the methods.

5. Representation of errors in NWP, hydrological and climate models
Chair: Vera Potopová , Martin Lange

In this session we welcome contributions that address different topics related to the following aspects on errors and the impact of the estimates in the data assimilation system and on climate applications, as well as application of snow observations in climate and other models.

6. Intercomparison of snow models and future of snow modeling across disciplines
Chair: Marie Dumont, Jürgen Helmert

Continuous estimates of the snow state from numerical model predictions are still limited by uncertainties in meteorological forcing data and model structural problems for snow processes in land surface models. Three major classes of snowpack models are employed for various applications: single-layer snow models, schemes of intermediate complexity, and detailed snowpack models, which differ in the description and the parameterization of the properties inside the snowpack and the related processes. The choice of the model complexity level is generally guided by the foreseen application. For instance, in the case of avalanche hazards forecasting, a detailed description of the the snowpack physical properties is required and thus a multi-layer model is to be preferred. This session aims to review existing snow models used in numerical weather prediction and climate models, hydrology, and for the avalanche hazards forecasting. We are interested to identify possibilities to harmonize approaches for the parameterization of snow processes in snow models of different complexity and we look forward to contributions addressing these topics.

7. Actions and methods for training snow scientists and observers
Chair: David Christian Finger, Martin Schneebeli

The training in measuring snow properties is extremely important to obtain data of high quality. As the measurement methods require either somewhat subjective classification skills and / or very specific measurement techniques, initiatives to train these competencies have internationally been promoted at different levels and operational contexts. Training in data assimilation and on complex modeling is another important topics. We are looking for examples of teaching snow science to different communities.

8. Harmonization strategies across international organizations and other activities
Chair: Patricia De Rosnay, Ali Nadir Arslan

This session will discuss common synergies and interactions on harmonization of snow measurements within existing international initiatives and programmes with the contributions of the COST Action on HARMOSNOW. We will also discuss on how to move forward to harmonized snow observation in the future for both in-situ and satellite measurements.

Scientific committee:

Ali Nadir Arslan, Carlo De Michele, Patricia De Rosnay, Marie Dumont, Charles Fierz, David Christian Finger, Katalin Gillemot, Jürgen Helmert, Ladislav Holko, Ekaterina Kurzeneva, Martin Lange, Leena Leppänen, Nacho Lopez Moreno, Giovanni Macelloni, Ghislain Picard, Vera Potopová, Samantha Pullen, Martin Schneebeli, Anna Seres

Organizing committee:

  • General co-chairs: Ghislain Picard, Ali Nadir Arslan, Katalin Gillemot
  • Local organization: Katalin Gillemot, Anna Seres
  • Webmaster: Cemal Melih Tanis
  • Documents

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    COST is supported by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020 COST is supported by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020