Snow height - Temperature measurement

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Parameter to be measured


Parameter to be determined

Snow height (inferred by temperature dynamics measured at different heights)


The basic idea of the inference of snow height is the calculation of the temperature range differences. If the temperature logger is covered by snow, the range difference of the temperature should not go beyond a certain limit, because snow cover works as an isolator for the day temperature range. The temperature loggers are positioned in different heights, e.g. 0, 15, 30,…,135 cm. The temperature measurement is continuous during the winter season. The intervals of measuring should be as small as possible, e.g. 10 minutes. The results are approximated by the method of the degree-day-factor which gives the simulated snow height. These calculations are combined in a package in R. The package will be available here soon.


The HOBO Pendant Temperature Data Logger/ Doc # 9531-D, MAN-UA-001/ Onset Computer Corporation is a waterproof, one-channel logger with 10-bit resolution nd can record up to approximately 6,500 (8K model) or 52,000 (64K model) measurements or internal logger events. The logger uses a coupler and optical base station with USB interface for launching and data readout by a computer. For details look at the description: Temperature - Hobo pendant temperature logger


Lower expenses than direct snow height measurement by Ultra sonic sensors, see also Snow height - ultra sonic sensor.

Continous measurement; Usage of loggers is easy; Position and number of loggers at the location is optional



  • by influence of the loggers on temperature measurement, see also Temperature - Hobo pendant temperature logger
  • because the criterion of the limit for day temperature range does not apply in all cases perfectly
  • because of heigh sensitivity of the degree-day-factor which is used to approximate the results
  • because additional climatic factors are not included in the calculation

What to watch out for

It must be checked, whether the feeded data for temperature values and calendar dates correspond in the number of elements. All data frames must have the same length of rows.


If there additional data are available, it may be possible to include them in the simulation of snow height to improve the results.


Projects that used the above equipment:

Other related web sites: