Email Print Share


Safer winter driving with snowflake imaging

Camera system captures critical data about falling snowflakes which can help improve weather radars and snowfall prediction accuracy

A high-speed, three-camera system reveals formation of an ice pellet.

A high-speed, three-camera system reveals formation of an ice pellet.
Credit and Larger Version

October 4, 2017

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

Falling snow makes winter driving a challenge. Transportation planners, road crews and emergency managers can now estimate real-time accumulations with active imaging from multi-angle snowflake cameras (MASC). NSF-funded research led to development of MASC, which images snowflakes down to the diameter of a human hair and simultaneously measures how fast they fall. These data have been critical for verifying snowfall predictions and winter precipitation algorithms for weather radars.

NSF Directorate(s):
Directorate for Geosciences


Related Awards
#1127692 Collaborative Research: The Wasatch Hydrometeor Aggregation and Riming Experiment
#1417234 STTR Phase I: Development of a Freefall Precipitation Camera for Weather Monitoring Systems
#1531930 Collaborative Research: Impact of Snowfall Processes on Potential Vorticity Generation in High-Latitude Snow Events

This NSF Impact is one of thousands of research outcomes made possible by NSF that help fuel the U.S. economy, enhance national security and sustain U.S. global leadership by advancing knowledge. You can search for more NSF Impacts at

 Get Impacts by Email