MODIS/Terra Snow Cover 5-Min L2 Swath 500m, Version 6
Data set id:
There is a more recent version of these data.
Changes for Version 6 include:
- Fractional Snow Cover has been replaced by Normalized Difference Snow Index (NDSI) snow cover. Fractional Snow Cover is no longer calculated;
- The binary Snow-Covered Area (SCA) map has been discontinued;
- Data screens designed to reduce snow detection errors have been revised and several new screens have been added;
- Data screen results, including snow detection reversals and detections with increased uncertainty, are provided in a new QA bit flag;
- Basic pixel-level QA uses new criteria to indicate the overall quality of algorithm result.
This data set reports the location of snow cover based on the Normalized Difference Snow Index (NDSI) and a series of screens designed to alleviate errors and flag uncertain snow cover detections. The NDSI is derived from radiance data acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board the Terra satellite. As of August 2023, this data set is retired and no longer available for download. We recommend using MODIS/Terra Snow Cover 5-Min L2 Swath 500m, Version 61 as an alternative.
24 February 2000 to 17 February 2023
Blue outlined yellow areas on the map below indicate the spatial coverage for this data set.
Data Access & Tools
For the snow cover and sea ice products, users can use MODIS Collections 6 and 6.1 together.
Data products from VIIRS are created to be similar to MODIS data products to ensure the continuity needed for the development of snow and sea ice climate records beyond the life expectancy of MODIS. The temporal resolution and spatial extent are identical in MODIS and VIIRS.
The lag time between observations and availability of MODIS products is only a few days. Lag time may be extended due to satellite maneuvers and extra quality assurance required for the geolocation data after the maneuver.
This short article describes the customization services available for ICESat-2 data using Earthdata Search
The Normalized Difference Snow Index (NDSI) snow cover is an index that is related to the presence of snow in a pixel and is a more accurate description of snow detection as compared to Fractional Snow Cover (FSC). Snow typically has very high visible (VIS) reflectance and very low reflectance in
Many NSIDC DAAC data sets can be accessed using the NSIDC DAAC's Data Access Tool. This tool provides the ability to search and filter data with spatial and temporal constraints using a map-based interface. Users have the option to
To convert HDF5 files into binary format you will need to use the h5dump utility, which is part of the HDF5 distribution available from the HDF Group. How you install HDF5 depends on your operating system.
Data subscriptions are available for select NSIDC DAAC data collections. Once signed up, the subscription service automatically sends you new data as they are delivered from active NASA satellite missions.
All data from the NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center (NSIDC DAAC) can be accessed directly from our HTTPS file system, using wget or curl. Basic command line instructions are provided in the article below.
NASA Earthdata Search is a map-based interface where a user can search for Earth science data, filter results based on spatial and temporal constraints, and order data with customizations including re-formatting, re-projecting, and spatial and parameter subsetting.
NASA Worldview is a map interface that allows users to interactively browse imagery, create visualizations, and download the underlying data.
NASA's Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS) provides up to date, full resolution imagery for selected NSIDC DAAC data sets.