Snow Covered Area (SCA) is a metric that can be measured remotely via satellites, and can provide large scale information related to snow accumulation and melt. It can also be used as a validation dataset for hydrological models. Binary SCA at 500 m spatial resolution is measured via the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on board NASA’s Terra and Aqua Satellites. MODIS collects 36 spectral bands of land, ocean and atmospheric data every one to two days. Data collected are sent to ground stations, and consequently to EOS Data and Operations System (EDOS) at the Goddard Space Flight Center where it can be downloaded and viewed. In the past access to these data was complicated by the large datasets and difficulty with extracting it efficiently. This project compiled snow covered area data for the entire coast of North America from 2000-2016 and is available for download here. Please see publication below for more details.
[PDF] Trubilowicz, J.W., Floyd, W.C., D’Amore, D.V., Bidlack, A.L. 2016. Satellite monitored snow cover in Western North America: A comparison of water year 2015 to Media Conditions. In Press Oct 2016. Proceedings 84th Annual Western Snow Conference “Snow Drought and Hydrological Impacts. Seattle, Washington, April 18-21, 2016