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Satellite microwave and millimeter-wave data have been used to evaluate the average areal water equivalent of snow cover in the mountainous Rio Grande basin in Colorado. Areal water equivalent data for the basin were obtained from contoured values of point measurements and from elevation-zone water volume values generated by a reliable snowmelt-runoff model using data on visible snow-cover extent. A significant relationship between the difference in brightness temperature at two different frequencies (37 and 18 GHz) and a basin-wide average snow-water equivalent value was obtained. This relationship and microwave observations were used to estimate the average areal water equivalent of the snow cover.