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Data Set ID:
G00788

Rand Corporation Mean Monthly Global Snow Depth, Version 1

This data set provides monthly snow depth for the entire globe (excluding Africa and South America) from 1950 to 1976. All available monthly snow depth climatologies were integrated by the Rand Corporation in the early 1980s into one global digital data set gridded at 4 degree latitude x 5 degree longitude.

Geographic Coverage

Parameter(s):
  • Snow/Ice > Snow Depth
Spatial Coverage:
  • N: 90, S: -90, E: 180, W: -180

Spatial Resolution:
  • 5 degrees x 4 degrees
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 January 1950 to 31 December 1976
Temporal Resolution: 1 month
Data Format(s):
  • PDF
  • ASCII Text
Platform(s) GROUND STATIONS, WEATHER STATIONS
Sensor(s): SNOW MEASURING ROD, WET/DRY PRECIPITATION SAMPLERS
Version: V1
Data Contributor(s): Charles Schultz, L. Bregman
Data Citation

As a condition of using these data, you must cite the use of this data set using the following citation. For more information, see our Use and Copyright Web page.

Schultz, C. and L. D. Bregman. 1988. Rand Corporation Mean Monthly Global Snow Depth, Version 1. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7265/N57P8W9K. [Date Accessed].

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Overview

All available monthly snow depth climatologies were integrated by the Rand Corporation, in the early 1980s, into one global (excluding Africa and South America) digital data set gridded at 4° latitude x 5° longitude. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers monthly climatologies were a primary data source. For data-sparse areas such as China, Greenland, the Arctic and Antarctica, special Rand methodologies were used: empirical evaluation of total precipitation, weather source regions, latitude, temperature, terrain and annual snow depth data. Monthly ice-pack limits from U.S. Navy Oceanographic Office were used to extend the zero snow accumulation line over the oceans. These mean monthly data can be used strictly as a climatological summary or for systematic comparison with simulations from any general circulation model (GCM), or for initiating GCM calculations. Data report copies are also available. The global grid is too coarse to pick up snow accumulation in Africa and South America, but no more than two grid points are involved in these areas.

Detailed Data Description

Background

See A Rand Note: Global Annual Snow Accumulation by Months (PDF file, 3.3 MB).

An attempt was made to develop snow accumulation values over water areas that are completely or mainly covered with pack ice. For this purpose, the "zero" snow accumulation lines were taken to be the boundaries of areas of greater than 5/10 sea ice cover. All grid points that fell within these lines in a particular month were given snow-accumulation values.

The number "0" in the tabulations denotes either zero accumulation or missing data, whereas the number "1" represents a trace. All data represent conditions on the last day of the month.

Breaks in the isopleths on the Army maps that were available were filled in by consulting temperature and snow data from supplementary sources. The Army data were further expanded during the coldest months with mean monthly ice limits from the U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office.

Grid Description

A global grid of 4° latitude x 5° longitude was used.

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Format

The data and the FORTRAN routine are in ASCII text files. The scanned documentation is in Adobe PDF format.

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File and Directory Structure

The following files contain the global monthly snow accumulation data as well as some FORTRAN code for extraction of the data. Note: This code was developed on an SGI running IRIX 4.0.1 and is only intended as a template. It may require updates by the user for the appropriate operating system.

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Sample Data Record

This example is for the month of January. The data for each month are divided into parts representing the northwest, southwest, northeast, and southeast quadrispheres.

GLOBAL SNOW DEPTHS (INCHES) - JANUARY

180W

175W

170W

165W

160W

155W

150W

145W

140W

135W

130W

125W

120W

115W

110W

105W

100W

95W

90N

5.7

5.7

5.7

5.7

5.7

5.7

5.7

5.7

5.7

5.7

5.7

5.7

5.7

5.7

5.7

5.7

5.7

5.7

86N

6.7

6.4

6.4

6.4

6.4

6.4

6.4

6.4

6.4

6.2

6.2

5.7

5.7

5.7

5.7

5.7

5.7

5.7

82N

10.0

9.2

8.5

8.2

7.8

7.8

7.1

7.1

7.1

7.0

7.0

6.0

5.7

5.7

5.0

5.0

5.0

5.0

78N

10.6

10.3

10.0

9.6

9.2

8.9

8.5

8.2

7.8

7.8

7.2

7.1

6.4

5.7

5.7

5.7

5.6

7.1

74N

7.8

8.5

7.8

8.2

8.2

8.2

7.2

7.8

7.5

7.3

7.1

5.7

10.0

5.0

5.7

7.1

13.0

10.6

70N

3.5

2.8

2.8

5.0

15.0

16.0

15.0

16.0

3.5

3.5

15.0

2.4

2.1

17.0

15.0

10.0

10.0

12.5

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Software and Tools

Software and Tools

Data and the FORTRAN routine can be viewed with a text editor. The Rand report can be viewed using Adobe Acrobat or another PDF reader.

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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Charles Schultz 
The Rand Corporation
1700 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90406, USA

L. D. Bregman 
The Rand Corporation 
1700 Main Street 
Santa Monica, CA 90406, USA

Acknowledgments: 

Publication of this data set is supported by funding from NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service and the National Geophysical Data Center.

Document Information

Document Authors

Original documentation was based on information provided by L. D. Bregman.

Document Creation Date

1995

Document Revision Date

L. E. Husted reformatted this documentation and added the scanned reference "Rand_N-2687-RC.pdf" in February 2006.

No technical references available for this data set.
No FAQs or How Tos available for this data set.

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