The knowledge of the temporary snow-water equivalent storage term (SWE) is an important prerequisite for the assessment of short- and long-term runoff volumes and water quality aspects. Since SWE measurements are frequently not available, this varilable is modelled on the basis of operationally measured meteorological data. For model verification fortnightly measured SWE values are used. The choice of the proper model depends on the aim of the simulation and the input data available: if SWE is the only variable to be modelled and time-series of daily total and new snow depths values are available, then a simple model based on Martinec (1977) employing settling curves for each snowfall event is suggested. If apart from SWE values other variables such as liquid water storage, snow albedo, etc. are to be modelled, and hourly input data are available, the conceptual energy and mass balance approach as presented here is suggested. The following variables, measured in hourly intervals, are used as input: air temperature, precipitation, wind speed, water vapour pressure, global radiation and cloud cover (term readings). This model was originally developed at a research-type station but can now be applied at up to 70 stations of the automatic network (ANETZ) of the Swiss Meteorological Institute (SMI). The modelled values are good estimates of the measured ones in the accumulation as well as in the ablation season.

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