Expert Team on Snow Watch (GCW)

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Terms of Reference

Under the guidance of the GCW-AG and in coordination with the relevant teams of the Standing Committee on Data Processing for Applied Earth System Modelling and Prediction (SC-ESMP), the Snow Watch Expert Team (SW-ET) is mandated to make recommendations to relevant WMO structures and to WMO Members on the observation, reporting and utilization (e.g. assimilation) of snow on the ground and solid precipitation (SGSP) data, at regional and global scales, including increasing the real-time exchange via GTS and the availability via the GCW Data Portal, e.g. from GCW stations, and related to the implementation of the WMO Unified Data Policy. The team will:
1. Co-lead with the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS) and the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) the “Status of Mountain Snow Cover” initiative;
2. Assess and report on the maturity, homogeneity, and uncertainty of SGSP data, products and information, including the contribution to the Satellite Snow Product Intercomparison and Evaluation Exercise (SnowPEx) and other similar activities;
3. Act as scientific advisor to the Task Team on Third Pole Regional Climate Centre Network (TPRCC-Network) and the Arctic and Antarctic RCC-networks on SGSP;
4. Lead the further development of “Guidelines and Best Practices” for the observation and reporting of SGSP, (Chapter 2, of Volume II, WMO No.-8), under the guidance of the GCW Best Practices Coordinator;
5. Contribute to the work of the GCW - Cryosphere Observing Requirements Task Team (CRYORA) on requirements for SGSP and support the development of regulatory and technical aspects for the implementation of the WMO Unified Data Policy.
6. Support the development and the implementation of recommended practices for SGSP data access (e.g. conversion to BUFR formats, terminology, etc.);
7. Contribute to the development of the Global Hydrological Status and Outlook System (HydroSOS) and support relevant regional projects;
8. Facilitate the organization of a 2nd Snow Radar workshop;
9. Organize experiments on demonstrating the impact of assimilating snow data and provide recommendations and input in the framework of GDPFS;
10. Provide input to the development of the Global Basic Observing Network (GBON), regarding SGSP observations, when requested;
11. Facilitate the development user-driven, value-added products based on in-situ, space-based, and airborne observations, as well as models, when and as requested, and contribute to publications e.g. WMO State of the Global Climate, regional Climate reports, a periodic Cryosphere Bulletin, GCW webpages, etc; e.g. anomalies, annual assessments, multi-dataset trackers, extreme events, etc.;
12. Liaise with the international community on SGSP, e.g. monitoring technologies, datasets and products, data utilization, e.g. EuroSnow, Terrestrial Observations Panel for Climate (TOP-C), International Surface Working Group (ISWG), European Space Agency (ESA) - Climate Change initiative (CCI) snow, Pan-Arctic observing System of Systems: Implementing Observations for societal Needs (ArcticPASSION), etc…
13. Make recommendations to GCW-AG for establishing task teams and ad-hoc teams for delivering specific tasks under these terms of reference, with appropriate membership.

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