Remote sensing fractional snow cover area (fSCA) has been increasingly used to get an improved estimate of the spatiotemporal distribution of snow water equivalent (SWE) through reanalysis using different data assimilation (DA) schemes. Although the effective assimilation period of fSCA is well recognized in previous studies, little attention has been given to explicitly account for the relative significance of measurements in constraining model parameters and states. Timing of the more informative period varies both spatially and temporally in response to various climatic and physiographic factors. Here we use an automatic detection approach to locate the critical points in the time axis where the mean snow cover changes and where the melt-out period starts. The assimilation period was partitioned into three timing windows based on these critical points. A fuzzy coefficient was introduced in two ensemble-based DA schemes to take into account for the variability in informational value of fSCA observations with time. One of the DA schemes used in this study was the particle batch smoother (Pbs). The main challenge in Pbs and other Bayesian-based DA schemes is, that most of the weights are carried by few ensemble members. Thus, we also considered an alternative DA scheme based on the limits of acceptability concept (LoA) and certain hydrologic signatures and it has yielded an encouraging result. An improved estimate of SWE was also obtained in most of the analysis years as a result of introducing the fuzzy coefficients in both DA schemes. The most significant improvement was obtained in the correlation coefficient between the predicted and observed SWE values (site-averaged); with an increase by 8% and 16% after introducing the fuzzy coefficient in Pbs and LoA, respectively.
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