Date: 03 Oct 2010

Satellite-Derived Information on Snow Cover for Agriculture Applications in Ukraine

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Abstract

This paper demonstrates how NOAA interactive satellite-based maps of snow cover can be used in the assessment of unfavorable agricultural conditions in Ukraine. The focus was on two events, the extensive winterkill in winter of 2002–2003 and the drought in the early 2007. Both events had a strong adverse effect on the yield and on the production of major grain crops. The analysis of NOAA daily snow maps has revealed an extremely short duration of snow in Ukraine in winter of 2006–2007. This is indicative of lower winter-time precipitation that contributed to the soil dryness in spring 2007. To identify potential crop freeze damage we have estimated the minimum temperature of snow-free land surface from snow charts combined with satellite land surface temperature retrievals. Temperatures below –18°C indicating potential winterkill were observed in the Central and Eastern Ukraine in December 2002.