Thursday, April 29, 2021

Late April snowcover

Satellite imagery of Kilimanjaro from the European Space Agency's Sentinel-2 is available every five days. Yesterday's nearly cloud-free image (28 April, above) and that from 23 April nicely bracket the time period when Tropical Cyclone JOBO approached the coast of Tanzania. On the 23rd, thick clouds obscured the mountain - except for the crater and a pie-shaped slice to the west, which are nicely visible.

Comparing these two images suggests essentially no snow accumulation on the mountain during the 5-day interval. The pattern of snowcover yesterday resembles that on the mountain since mid-January. Depth appears to have been thin at times when the snow-covered area was greater (i.e., following snowfall events). In general however, there currently appears to be less-than-average snowcover on the mountain, with another month remaining in the long-rains wet season (March-May).

It will be interesting to learn where the highest precipitation totals were recorded during JOBO.

For reference on the image above, Kibo Hut on the Marangu Route is visible within the orange circle (above), while the yellow ellipse highlights Barafu Camp. Trails leading toward the crater rim are faintly visible in both cases.


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