EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Monitoring snowpack evolution with meteorological reanalysis data in the Atlas Mountains

Wassim Mohamed Baba1, Abdelghani Boudhar1,2, Simon Gascoin3, Lahoucine Hanich1,4, Ahmed Marchane1, and Abdelghani Chehbouni1,3
Wassim Mohamed Baba et al.
  • 1Center for Remote Sensing Application (CRSA), Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Morocco
  • 2Faculty of Sciences and Techniques, Sultan Moulay Slimane University, Beni Mellal, Morocco
  • 3CESBIO, Université de Toulouse, CNES/CNRS/IRD/INRA/UPS, Toulouse, France
  • 4Laboratoire Géoressources-Département des Sciences de la Terre, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques Guéliz,Université Cadi Ayyad, Marrakech, Morocco

The seasonal snow cover in the Altas mountains of Morocco is an important resource, mostly because it provides melt-water runoff for irrigation during the crop growing season. However, the knowledge on physical properties of the snowpack (e.g., snow water equivalent (SWE) and snowmelt) is still very limited due to the scarcity or the lack of ground measurements in the elevated area. In this study we suggest that the recent progresses of meteorological reanalysis data (e.g., MERRA-2 and ERA-5) open new perspectives to overcome this issue. We fed a distributed snowpack evolution model (SnowModel) with downscaled ERA-5 and MERRA-2 reanalyses and evaluate their performance to simulate snow cover. The modeling covers the period 1981 to 2019 (37 water years). SnowModel simulations were assessed using observations of river discharge, snow height and snow cover area derived from MODIS.

For most of hydrological years, the results show a good performance for both MERRA-2 and ERA-5 with a slight superiority of ERA-5, to reproduce the snowpack state.

Key words: snow, snow water equivalent, reanalysis , MERRA-2, ERA-5

How to cite: Baba, W. M., Boudhar, A., Gascoin, S., Hanich, L., Marchane, A., and Chehbouni, A.: Monitoring snowpack evolution with meteorological reanalysis data in the Atlas Mountains, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-486,, 2021.

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