• MODIS Collection 6.1 has been fully reprocessed and temporal coverage is now complete. MODIS Collection 6.0 data sets will be processed continuously through the end of 2022. Data for C6.0 will likely remain available for just a few months thereafter.

MODIS/Terra Snow Cover 5-Min L2 Swath 500m, Version 6 (MOD10_L2)
Data set:
MOD10_L2
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There is a more recent version of these data.
Version Summary
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  • Fractional Snow Cover has been replaced by Normalized Difference Snow Index (NDSI) snow cover.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.

Overview

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.
Data Contributor(s):
Hall, D. K. and G. A. Riggs.
Parameter(s):
SNOW COVER
Platform(s):
TERRA
Sensor(s):
MODIS
Data Format(s):
HDF-EOS2
Temporal Coverage:
24 February 2000 to present
Temporal Resolution:
5 minute
Spatial Resolution:
500 m
500 m
Spatial Coverage:
N:
90
S:
-90
E:
180
W:
-180

Data Access & Tools

A free NASA Earthdata Login account is required to access these data. Learn More

Help Articles

Getting started

For the snow cover and sea ice products, users can use MODIS Collections 6 and 6.1 together.
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.
The following table describes the data subsetting, reformatting, and reprojection services that are currently available for MODIS data via the NASA Earthdata Search tool.
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

How To

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.
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 (found below). Our 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 uses the Global Imagery Browse Service (GIBS) to provide up to date, full resolution imagery for select NSIDC DAAC data sets (see attachments below).
NASA's Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS) provides up to date, full resolution imagery for selected NSIDC DAAC data sets.