Researchers at NASA have launched a new project to pioneer technologies for measuring snowpack.
It's called SnowEx and is expected to last five years. Data gathering for year one is taking place in Grand Mesa and in southwestern Colorado.
NASA's Charles Gatebe leads the research team. He says snow measurement is crucial to understanding water sources for much of the world's population, including large parts of the US.
"In the western United States, near three quarters of the annual stream flow that provides the water supply arrives as spring and summer melt from the melting snow packs," Gatebe says.
The project focuses on using remote sensor technologies from aircraft and on-the-ground data to find the combination of tools that works best to measure snowpack. Over 100 researchers from around the world are involved.