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Data Set ID:
G01174

Estonian Mean Snow Depth and Duration (1891-1994), Version 1

This data set contains the number of days of snow cover in days per year, and three 10-day snow depth means per month in centimeters from stations across Estonia. The days of snow cover data extend from 1891 through 1994, while the snow depth means extend from 1891 through 1990. Some stations for some years have two data entries, one for a protected collection area, and one for an exposed collection area.

Geographic Coverage

Parameter(s):
  • Snow/Ice > Snow Cover
  • Snow/Ice > Snow Depth
Spatial Coverage:
  • N: 59.5, S: 57.3, E: 28.1, W: 21.5

Spatial Resolution:
  • Varies
Temporal Coverage:
  • 1 January 1891 to 31 December 1994
Temporal Resolution: Varies
Data Format(s):
  • ASCII Text
Platform(s) GROUND STATIONS
Sensor(s): VISUAL OBSERVATIONS
Version: V1
Data Contributor(s): Jaak Jaagus
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.

Jaagus, J. 2000. Estonian Mean Snow Depth and Duration (1891-1994), Version 1. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7265/N5X63JTN. [Date Accessed].

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Overview

The parameters contained in this data set are the number of days per year with snow, and the mean snow depth in centimeters (three 10-day snow depth means per month calculated for days 1-10, 11-20, and 21-last day of the month) for October through May. There are a total of 262 stations across Estonia. The data were originally provided to NSIDC in 1997, and were published by NSIDC in 2000. Data were acquired through state sponsored observation programs. The snow depth data begin 1 October 1881, and end 31 May 1990. Records for days with snow extend an additional four years for some stations, ending in 1994. Jaak Jaagus of the University of Tartu in Estonia contributed these data to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Detailed Data Description

Format

Data are stored in the following ASCII text files:

  • a single file containing the list of stations (stations.dat) for 255 stations
  • a single file containing the number of days with snow for all stations and years (days_of_snow.dat)
  • one file for each station containing the three 10-day snow depth means in centimeters for all years (stat_xxx.dat, where xxx is the 3-digit station number)
  • one file for each year containing the three 10-day snow depth means in centimeters for all stations (year_xxxx.dat, where xxxx is the 4-digit year)

Years are listed as hydrological years. For example, 1882 stands for the period that starts in October 1881 and goes through through May 1882. In the 1950s and 1960s some stations have two observations recorded for the same day. One observation is for an open (exposed) or unprotected collection area, and one is for a closed or protected collection area. In these cases, a negative station number indicates a record for measurement that was taken in a protected observation area. No snow is indicated by 0, and no data available for a particular day is indicated by -1.

Exposed sites are not protected from winds that may remove some snow, while protected sites are sheltered from the wind to some extent by trees or buildings. Usually, snow depth is higher in protected sites. Note that information on the surroundings of the observations sites was available to the data provider only from 1945 on. Therefore prior to 1945 some of the sites may be protected and yet are not marked as such.

Data Sample - Mean Snow Depth by station

The following sample is taken from the file stat_259.dat for station VOKA (259). The first line contains the station number, station name, station latitude, and station longitude in decimal degrees. All latitude values are positive (north). All longitude values are positive (east). The second line contains the months for which data are included. The remaining lines contain the station number, the year, and 24 mean snow measurements (three approximately 10-day means for each month). The first number for each month is the mean for the first 10 days of the month, the second number is the mean for the next 10 days, and the third number is the mean for the rest of the days in the month.

      259   VOKA             59.42     27.57
           Oct    Nov      Dec     Jan       Feb      Mar      Apr     May
   259   1932 0 0 1  2  0  0  3 11 15 13  8  0  4  5  3  5 13 14  2  0  0 0 0 0
   259   1933 0 0 0  0  0  0 -1 -1 -1  4  7 14 20 26 30 30 12  1  5  0  0 0 0 0
   259   1934 0 0 0  3  8  8  4  5  9  7  6  7 10 14  9 14 19  0  0  0  0 0 0 0
   259   1935 0 0 0  0  0  1  0  1  2  8  9  8 20 27 12 10  5  6  3  1  0 0 0 0
   259   1936 0 0 0  0  0  0  1  2  7  3  6  9 10 21 27 23 16 10  4  0  0 0 0 0
   259   1937 0 0 0  0  0  1  1  0  0  3 11  9 10 16 26 29 17  4  2  0  0 0 0 0
   259   1938 0 0 0  0  1  4 13 19 30 27 27 29 22 16 20 12  2  1  1  0  0 0 0 0
   259   1939 0 0 0 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 11  9  2  2  0  1  3  2  0  0  0  0 0 0 0
   259   1942 0 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 23 18 24 32 36 40 41 44 48 50 37 32 3 0 2 0 0
   259   1943 0 0 0  0  2 10 12 11  2 11 15 21 19 20 15  6  0  0  0  0  0 0 0 0
   259   1944 0 0 0  0  0  2  6  1  0 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1  0  0  0 0 0 0

Data Sample - Mean Snow Depth by Year

The following sample is from the file year_1899.dat for the year 1899. The first line contains header information. The remaining lines contain the station number, station name, station latitude, station longitude, and 24 mean snow measurements (three approximately 10-day means for each month). The first number for each month is the mean for the first 10 days of the month, the second number is the mean for the next 10 days, and the third number is the mean for the remaining days in the month.

STAT_N STAT_NAME      LAT    LON      Oct    Nov    Dec   Jan      Feb      Mar       Apr     May

   203    TAHKUNA       59.10  22.58     0 0 0  0 0 1  0 3 2 12 10 16 23 19 16 -1 -1 -1  7  0  0 0 0 0
   169    RAKVERE       59.35  26.37     0 0 1  0 0 1  0 1 0 12 17 24 43 37 43 42 37 41 31  2  1 0 0 0
   180    RUHNU         57.78  23.27     0 1 0  0 0 0  0 3 4  5 10  9 18 22 19 34 33 39 35  8  1 0 0 0
   260    VORMSI        59.03  23.12     0 6 1  0 0 1  0 0 0  5  5  5  6  2  4 10  4  8  6  0  1 0 0 0
   211    TARTU         58.38  26.72     0 0 2  0 0 0  0 5 4 18 29 22 23 16 25 34 31 32 10  0  0 0 0 0
   254    VILJANDI      58.37  25.58     0 0 2  0 0 1  0 5 5 11 17  4 10  4  6 19  4  5  1  1  0 1 0 0
   255    VILSANDI      58.38  21.82     0 0 0  0 0 0  0 1 1  2  1  0  1  0  0  4  1  4  0  0  0 1 0 0

Data Sample - Number of Days With Snow

The following sample shows excerpts from the days_of_snow.dat file. The columns are: station number, station name, year, days of snow.

   140  OSMUSSAAR     1892   102
   146  PAKRI         1892   116
   166  PA'RNU        1892   134
   180  RUHNU         1892   159
   203  TAHKUNA       1892   131
   255  VILSANDI      1892    84
   260  VORMSI        1892   127
   125  NAISSAAR      1893   158
   127  NARVA-JOESUU  1893   107
   140  OSMUSSAAR     1893   135
   146  PAKRI         1893   126
   180  RUHNU         1893   144
   203  TAHKUNA       1893   156
   255  VILSANDI      1893   120
	.
	.
	.
	
   287  KO'PI         1934   129
   290  RASINA        1934   117
   291  PINDI         1934   123
   292  KUREKYLA      1934   123
     1  ABRUKA        1935    58
    14  ELLAMAA       1935    75
    24  HELME         1935    52
    27  HIRVLI        1935    80
    28  HOLDRE        1935   101
    31  IISAKU-I      1935   117
    34  JO'GEVA       1935    83
    41  JA'NEDA       1935   101
    42  JA'RVSELJA    1935   102
    43  JA'A'RJA      1935    66
    52  KEHRA         1935   117
    55  KERI          1935    48
    57  KIHNU         1935    55
    63  KOHILA        1935   105
    64  KOHTLA        1935   101
	 .
	 .
	 .
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Station Locations

The list of stations (stations.dat) contains the station number, station name, latitude and longitude coordinates in decimal degrees, and the collection start and end years at each station. The names have been translated into English using the Latin alphabet. Note the following four vowel transliterations in particular:

Estonian Vowel English Transliteration
Ä 
Ö 
Õ 
Ü
A' 
O' 
O~ 
Y

The following stations were located in a protected area:


  1   ABRUKA 
  2   AHJA 
  5   ALLIKU 
 11   ARUVALLA 
 14   ELLAMAA 
 15   ELVA 
 17   ESNA 
 19   HAAPSALU 
 26   HIMMISTE 
 27   HIRVLI 
 30   HYYRU 
 32   IISAKU-II 
 33   JAANI 
 39   JA'GALA 
 40   JA'LEVERE 
 45   KAMBJA 
 49   KASARI 
 58   KIISA 
 61   KLOOSTRIMETSA 
 69    KONNUVERE 
 72    KOORVERE 
 81    KUUSTLE 
 87    KA'RDLA-I

 91    KA'RU 
 94    KYKITA 
 96    LAOSE 
105    LUGUSE 
111    MEHIKOORMA 
114    METSKYLA 
117    MULGI-N 
127    NARVA-JO~ESUU 
132    NA'A'RI 
133    OANDU 
137   OOSTRIKU 
139    OREKYLA 
140    OSMUSSAAR 
144    PAJUBA 
149    PAUNKYLA 
151    PIIGASTE 
158    PRANGLI-N 
161    PURTSE 
163    PO~LTSAMAA 
164    PO~O~SASPEA 
177    ROHUKYLA 
180    RUHNU 
181    RO~IKA

182    RA'PINA 
186    SIMUNA 
192    SURJU 
198    SO~RU 
201    SA'NNA 
204    TAHKUSE 
205    TALLINN,MAJA 
208    TAMSALU 
215    TIPU 
222    TUDU 
224    TO'LLISTE 
225    TO'RVA 
227    TO'RVE 
232    UUE-LO'VE 
235    VALGA 
236    VALMA 
245    VASKNARVA 
247    VASTSEMETSA 
249    VETLA 
251    VIHTERPALU 
254    VILJANDI 
257    VIRTSU 
261    VO~HMA
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Spatial and Temporal Coverage

The stations in this data set are bound by a southernmost latitude of 57.0 degrees North, northernmost latitude of 60.0 degrees North, westernmost longitude of 21.0 degrees East, and easternmost longitude of 29.0 degrees East. The earliest snow depth data begin 1 October 1881. The last record ends 31 May 1990. Depth data are means for days 1-10, 11-20, and 21-last day of the month, for October through May. The length of the data record varies depending on the station. The stations.dat file gives the start and end years for each station. Records for days with snow extend an additional four years for some stations, ending in 1994.

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Data Acquisition and Processing

Instrument and Measurement Technique

Between 1945 and 1991, data were collected according to procedures as described in the documentation for other Former Soviet Union Meteorological data sets such as the Former Soviet Union Hydrological Snow Surveys data set. Data collected before 1940 and after 1991 followed similar procedures at Estonian Hydrometeorological stations.

In the 1950s and 1960s there are two depth measurements for some locations: one at an open area and one at a covered or protected area. Some stations were permanently located in a protected area and are listed in the Station Locations section.

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Processing and Quality Assessment at NSIDC

At NSIDC, we reformatted data files to make them easier to use. We removed stations from the station list for which there were no data listed in the data files.

We looked at the mean and standard deviation of snow depth in both open and closed sites to establish that the values and seasonal pattern are reasonable, and looked at a time series of number of days of snow to establish that there are no obvious outliers. We performed no other quality assessment, and changed none of the data values.

A cursory comparison with data from Central Asian Snow Cover from Hydrometeorological Surveys (see Related Data Sets) showed some matches and some differences, but no obvious systematic inconsistencies.

Users of these data should be aware that snowfall is notoriously difficult to measure. Since the spatial variability of snow depth is great and detailed metadata on the observation locations and instrumentation is not available, care should be taken in using these data.

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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Jaak Jaagus
Department of Geography 
University of Tartu
Vanemuise 46, 51014 Tartu, Estonia
jjaagus@ut.ee 

Acknowledgments: 

This data set has been made available through the generosity of Dr. Jaak Jaagus, Department of Geography, University of Tartu, Estonia.

The NOAA team (F. Fetterer, Lead) maintains this product at NSIDC. C. Haggerty and D. Van Westrum prepared the data for publication at NSIDC. This work was supported by funding from NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service and the National Geophysical Data Center.

Document Information

Document Creation Date

December 2000

Document Authors

This document was originally prepared by R. Welsh based on information provided by the data contributor. It was originally published in December, 2000. It has been updated by F. Fetterer. 

Document Revision Date

April 2005 - F. Fetterer revised the format, corrected the citation, and added the section on Data Acquisition and Processing.

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