International Journal of Computer Vision

, Volume 93, Issue 3, pp 348–367 | Cite as

Rain or Snow Detection in Image Sequences Through Use of a Histogram of Orientation of Streaks

  • Jérémie Bossu
  • Nicolas HautièreEmail author
  • Jean-Philippe Tarel


The detection of bad weather conditions is crucial for meteorological centers, specially with demand for air, sea and ground traffic management. In this article, a system based on computer vision is presented which detects the presence of rain or snow. To separate the foreground from the background in image sequences, a classical Gaussian Mixture Model is used. The foreground model serves to detect rain and snow, since these are dynamic weather phenomena. Selection rules based on photometry and size are proposed in order to select the potential rain streaks. Then a Histogram of Orientations of rain or snow Streaks (HOS), estimated with the method of geometric moments, is computed, which is assumed to follow a model of Gaussian-uniform mixture. The Gaussian distribution represents the orientation of the rain or the snow whereas the uniform distribution represents the orientation of the noise. An algorithm of expectation maximization is used to separate these two distributions. Following a goodness-of-fit test, the Gaussian distribution is temporally smoothed and its amplitude allows deciding the presence of rain or snow. When the presence of rain or of snow is detected, the HOS makes it possible to detect the pixels of rain or of snow in the foreground images, and to estimate the intensity of the precipitation of rain or of snow. The applications of the method are numerous and include the detection of critical weather conditions, the observation of weather, the reliability improvement of video-surveillance systems and rain rendering.


Rain or snow detection Geometric moments Expectation maximization Histogram Visual surveillance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jérémie Bossu
    • 1
  • Nicolas Hautière
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jean-Philippe Tarel
    • 1
  1. 1.Université Paris-Est, LEPSIS, INRETS-LCPCParisFrance

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