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Remote Sensing Center

Key to Airborne SHEF message

Sample Message

:TO ------ Service Hydrologist (Please give HARDCOPY to SH)
:FROM ---- Don Cline, (952) 361-6610 ex 252, Minneapolis, Minnesota
: Total No. of flight lines sent = 14
:Line   Survey    %SC   SWE   SWE %SM Est Fall  %SM  Pilot
:No.    Date           (in) (35%) (M) Typ Date  (F)  Remarks
MN101  DY960411 /  80 / 4.9 : 4.5 ,28 AM 951026 ,28 swgi20
MN102  DY960411 /  80 / 4.7 : 4.0 ,23 AM 951026 ,23 swgi20
MN271  DY960411 /  90 / 6.9 : 6.7 ,31 AI 951029 ,31 rzo rvr open
This concludes airborne data collection over the Red River.

Column headings in the Airborne SHEF message

Line No. flight line number
Survey Date survey date
%SC visual estimate of percent snow cover over line made by pilots
SWE (in) snow water equivalent in inches
SWE (35%) snow water equivalent calculated using a value of 35% for %SM(M)
%SM (M) percent soil moisture used in SWE calculation
Est Type type of estimate for %SM(M)
AM airborne soil moisture measurement
AI interpolated from airborne measurements
GM ground-based soil moisture measurement
GI interpolated from ground measurements1
SE subjective estimate based on qualitative and/or more recent data
DV default value (arbitrary - no Fall Date or %SM(F))
Fall Date survey date for fall soil moisture survey
%SM(F) percent soil moisture measured on fall soil moisture survey
Pilot Remarks Pilot remarks for flight line

1Airborne and ground data are provided for flight lines when available.


  • STANDING WATER AND GROUND ICE. Enter in the remarks section an estimate of the STANDING WATER AND GROUND ICE as a %, if it exists on a flight line. Use the format SWGI##, where ## is percent cover for both standing water and ice. For example, an entry in the remarks section could be SWGI60 if the flight line is covered with a total of 60 percent standing water and ground ice. Do NOT comment on glare ice or wind crust on top of the snow pack.
  • NEW OR OLD SNOW. Comment on the presence of NEW snow and OLD snow if necessary. Enter an estimate if the snow cover is NEW snow and some estimate of NEW snow depth. For example, NEW SNOW (LIGHT, MED, HEAVY).
  • SNOW LINE. Make comments in data header or at the end of the data transfer message on any SNOW LINE identified in transit. Note the elevation of the SNOW LINE in the West. Give the geographic location of snow line, if possible, using towns, streams, or flight lines.
  • STREAM CONDITION Note condition of streams in the comments portion of the line header.
    1. FROZEN - totally ice cover, no visible action,
    2. PARTIALLY OPEN - some ice, some flow, some water,
    3. OPEN, ICE FREE - open, little or no ice, free flowing,
    4. ICE JAM - ice jam in oxbows or bridges restricting flow,
    5. STAGE - bank full, above flood stage, on recession,
    6. FLOODED AREAS - note any flooded areas by geographic reference.

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National Weather Service
National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center
Office of Water Prediction
1735 Lake Drive W.
Chanhassen, MN 55317

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Page last modified: Aug 10, 2011
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