Data Set ID: 

Snow Data Assimilation System (SNODAS) Data Products at NSIDC, Version 1

This data set contains snow pack properties, such as depth and snow water equivalent (SWE), from the NOAA National Weather Service's National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center (NOHRSC) SNOw Data Assimilation System (SNODAS). SNODAS is a modeling and data assimilation system developed by NOHRSC to provide the best possible estimates of snow cover and associated parameters to support hydrologic modeling and analysis.

This is the most recent version of these data.

COMPREHENSIVE Level of Service

Data: Data integrity and usability verified; data customization services available for select data

Documentation: Key metadata and comprehensive user guide available

User Support: Assistance with data access and usage; guidance on use of data in tools and data customization services

See All Level of Service Details

  • Precipitation > Rain > LIQUID PRECIPITATION
  • Snow/Ice > Snow Depth > SNOW DEPTH
  • SNOW/ICE > SNOW MELT > Snow Melt Runoff at the Base of the Snow Pack
  • Snow/Ice > Snow/Ice Temperature > Snow Pack Average Temperature
  • Snow/Ice > Snow Water Equivalent > SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT
  • Precipitation > Solid Precipitation > SOLID PRECIPITATION
  • Atmospheric Water Vapor > Sublimation > Sublimation from the Snow Pack
  • Atmospheric Water Vapor > Sublimation > Sublimation of Blowing Snow
Data Format(s):
  • Binary
Spatial Coverage:
N: 53.9667, 
N: 52.8754, 
S: 24.0996, 
S: 24.9504, 
E: -62.2504, 
E: -66.9421, 
W: -130.5171
W: -124.7337
Platform(s):Not specified
Spatial Resolution:
  • 1 km x 1 km
Sensor(s):Not specified
Temporal Coverage:
  • 28 September 2003
Temporal Resolution1 dayMetadata XML:View Metadata Record
Data Contributor(s):Tom Carroll

Geographic Coverage

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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.

National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center. 2004. Snow Data Assimilation System (SNODAS) Data Products at NSIDC, Version 1. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center. doi: [Date Accessed].

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When visualizing SNODAS data, why is the image skewed?
This is most likely due to a problem with Windows Winzip which corrupts the file upon downloading (you will see that the file size will have changed from the original located on ftp) You can correct this by changing some settings in WinZip: Extract the .tar.gz file using WinZip. The WinZip... read more
How can I find information about the model input for the SNODAS data set?
NOHRSC provides/creates the data, we just archive it. If you have questions about the model (such as how it is run) that are not available in the user guide, you have to contact NOHRSC directly.
What if I need SNODAS data in real or neal-real time?
NSIDC has scripts that run several times a day. If new SNODAS files are found, these scripts will automatically post them to our FTP server. If you need data sooner than the normal timeframe that NSIDC uploads files to our FTP site, you can contact... read more
Can I sum SNODAS values for a given area?
SNODAS is a model output, so  it is not recommended for use for quantitative water budget analysis. However, it is reasonable to sum values over a given area for a period of time, if, for example, you wanted to compare annual totals of snow water equivalent (SWE) for a given area. The solid... read more

How To

How do I import SNODAS data into ArcGIS?
Follow the steps below, which are also linked from the SNODAS user guide. These steps will work for all eight SNODAS variables in ArcGIS 10.0 or higher. Before working through the rest of this tutorial, we would like to make you aware of a small spatial... read more
How do I convert SNODAS binary files to GeoTIFF or NetCDF?
This article describes the use of Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL) tools for converting SNODAS binary files to NetCDF or GeoTIFF. Before working through the rest of this tutorial, we would like to make you aware of a small spatial data shift that occurs on 01 October 2013 in the SNODAS... read more
Subsetting and Reformatting with the NSIDC PyRS Tool
The NSIDC Python Reformatting and Subsetting (PyRS) tool is a command line tool which prompts the user to specify data reformatting and subsetting preferences. Output formats available are native, GeoTIFF, and NetCDF. If the dataset is polar stereographic, subsetting can be performed in the... read more