Putting the capital 'A' in CoCoRAHS: an experimental programme to measure albedo using the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow (CoCoRaHS) Network

Academic Article


  • AbstractThe Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow (CoCoRaHS) Network is a community‐based network of weather observers and the largest provider of daily precipitation observations in the USA. In this study, we embrace the CoCoRaHS mission to use low‐cost measurement tools, provide training and education, and utilize an interactive website to create the first volunteer snow albedo network to collect high‐quality albedo data for research and education applications. We trained a sub‐set of 18 CoCoRaHS observers in the state of New Hampshire to collect albedo, snow depth, and snow density between 23 November 2011 and 15 March 2012. At less than $700 per observer, CoCoRAHS data measured using an Apogee MP‐200 pyranometer fall within ±0.05 of albedo values collected from a Kipp and Zonen CMA6 at local solar noon. CoCoRAHS values range from 0.99 for fresh snow to 0.34 for shallow, aged snow. Snow‐free albedo ranges from 0.09 to 0.39, depending on the underlying ground cover. In the 2011/2012 dataset, albedo increases logarithmically with snow depth and decreases linearly with snow density. The latter relationship is inferred to be a proxy for increasing snow grain size as snowpack ages and compacts, supported by spectral albedo measurements collected with an Analytical Spectral Devices FieldSpec 4 spectrometer. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  • Authors

  • Burakowski, Elizabeth
  • Stampone, Mary
  • Burakowski, Elizabeth
  • Wake, Cameron P
  • Dibb, Jack E
  • Stampone, Mary
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • October 15, 2013
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In


  • albedo
  • snow
  • winter
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 3024
  • End Page

  • 3034
  • Volume

  • 27
  • Issue

  • 21