Whilst satellite monitoring of snow cover is already operational in some countries, the maritime climate of the United Kingdom poses special problems for assessment of snow cover by satellite, including the short snow duration, its intermittent occurrence and associated conditions of cloud. Both satellite and ground-based observations of cloud have been used to assess the limitations imposed by cloud over broad regions and also for individual sites at different elevations and during periods of snow accumulation, stability and ablation. It is concluded that satellite sensing based on visible and infrared images alone is restricted by cloud cover, but can often provide helpful ancillary information in support of ground based measurements and satellite images from other spectral bands.

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