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ACSYS Data and Information Service (ADIS)

M e t a d a t a
TitleCanadian Snow Data 
OrganizationCA/EC/MSC > Meteorological Service of Canada, Environment Canada 
Phone:+01-519-888-4567 x2689 

The Canadian Daily Snow Depth Database consists of daily ruler
measurements of snow depth taken by Meteorological Service of Canada
observers and archived as daily element 013 in the National Climate
Data Archive

The depth data also include a substantial number of daily and weekly
snow depth observations rescued from paper records as part of a
CRYSYS-sponsored data rescue project. The depth data extend from the
late 1800s to early 1996 in the database, although most of the data
are in the period after 1950. A detailed quailty control procedure was
applied to flag suspicous values and fill missing data. The data were
written in a direct access database which includes all the data
available at the time the project was completed in 1997 (data from
some stations go to the end of April 1996, but most data end in
December 1995). Daily snow depth data from the National Climate Data
Archive have been included on the CD-ROM for the 1996-1999 period to
provide users with the capability of updating information to the end
of the 1998/1999 snow season. These additional data have only been
subject to MSC standard quality control checks.

The Canadian Snow Water Equivalent Database contains snow water
equivalent (SWE) and snow depth measurements from snow surveys taken
by more than twenty agencies at weekly, biweekly or monthly
frequencies. It also contains biweekly SWE estimates at Meteorological
Service of Canada snow depth observing stations. The data cover the
period from the mid-1950s to the mid-1990s, with a pronounced peak in
the 1976-1985 decade. After 1985 there was a steep decline in the
amount of data due to closure of snow courses and an erosion of
contacts between MSC and other data collection agencies. At peak
levels in the early 1980s, there were over 1700 snow course
observations per year in the database. This number declined to around
800 per year in the early 1990s. In many cases, updates to the snow
course data contained in this CD-ROM can can be readily obtained from
the various provincial agencies involved in taking snow surveys. Links
to these organizations are provided in the contract report for the
Snow Water Equivalent Database.

The CD-ROM is mainly intended as a data archive and extensive data
extraction and analysis tools are not provided. The CD-ROM does
contains some sample FORTRAN 77 software for data summary and
extraction. All software is provided uncompiled and may have to be
modified to operate on different platforms. The code was originally
written for a PC-DOS system using a Microsoft FORTRAN Powerstation 4.0

Complete CD-ROM documentation including descriptions of data sources,
data-modeling techniques, quality control, sample products, filenames,
file locations and file formats is located in contract reports
prepared by Robert Braaten for MSC: Canadian Daily Snow Depth Database
Main Documentation
( and the
Canadian Snow Water Equivalent Database Main Documentation
( There are
currently no plans to provide regular updates to this CD-ROM.

This CD-ROM is dedicated to the field staff who participated in the
collection of these data, and to the managers who understood the
importance of sharing data. Hopefully this data compilation will do
justice to these individuals and will prove to be useful in
furthering understanding of snow cover in Canada.


This CD-ROM was created by the Climate Processes and Earth Observation
Division, Climate Research Branch, Meteorological Service of Canada
(MSC) with the objective of making Canadian snow data more readily
available to the user community. The CD-ROM contains the Canadian
Daily Snow Depth Database and the Canadian Snow Water Equivalent
Database, as well as a bonus publication A Guide for Ground Based
Measurement of the Arctic Snow Cover
( by Dr. Ming-ko
Woo (November, 1997).

Fee: Free for RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY. Commercial users can purchase
the CD for $200.00 from Environment Canada, Meteorological Service of
Canada, Climate Services, in Downsview, Ontario.
WCRP ProjectACSYS Related, CliC Related 
Areal ExtentPOLAR
CANADA> Alberta
CANADA> British Columbia
CANADA> Manitoba
CANADA> Saskatchewan
CANADA> Ontario
CANADA> Quebec
CANADA> New Brunswick
CANADA> Newfoundland and Labrador
CANADA> Nova Scotia
CANADA> Prince Edward Island
CANADA> Northwest Territories
CANADA> Nunavut
Western Longitude : -141.0

Eastern Longitude : -52.0

Southern Latitude : 41.5

Northern Latitude : 84.0

Horizontal Resolution 
Vertical Resolution 
Time Period 
Start Date : 1955-01-01
End Date : 1999-01-01
ParametersSNOW DEPTH
Data Information  
Data Location Data: 

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