Identification of blowing snow particles in images from a Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera

Schaer, Mathieu; Praz, Christophe; Berne, Alexis

A new method to automatically discriminate between hydrometeors and blowing snow particles on Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera (MASC) images is introduced. The method uses four selected descriptors related to the image frequency, the number of particles detected per image, and their size and geometry to classify each individual image. The classification task is achieved with a two-component Gaussian mixture model fitted on a subset of representative images of each class from field campaigns in Antarctica and Davos, Switzerland. The performance is evaluated by labeling the subset of images on which the model was fitted. An overall accuracy and a Cohen kappa score of 99.4 % and 98.8 %, respectively, are achieved. In a second step, the probabilistic information is used to flag images composed of a mix of blowing snow particles and hydrometeors, which turns out to occur frequently. The percentage of images belonging to each class from an entire austral summer in Antarctica and during a winter in Davos, respectively, is presented. The capability to distinguish precipitation, blowing snow and a mix of those in MASC images is highly relevant to disentangle the complex interactions between wind, snowflakes and snowpack close to the surface.

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Schaer, Mathieu / Praz, Christophe / Berne, Alexis: Identification of blowing snow particles in images from a Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Mathieu Schaer et al.

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