Interpereting Snow Course Data
From NRCS, Nov 1995. Modified Nov 2011
The following is an explanation of each column in snow course data text files.
Columns 1-2: State ID in FIPS code (differs from NCDC code)
Columns 3-7: Station ID number
Column 8: Blank or S. Blank is SNOTEL site, S is a "created" quasi-SNOTEL site
Column 10: Type of reading:
- Near month end
- Near mid-month
- Special reading (not many of these)
Column 14-15: Water year (NOT calendar year)
Column 16 onward: Multiple sets of 10-character groups, repeated as often as necessary
Each 10-character group consists of:
1-3: Date: (month, as a single alphanumerical character; day of month)
Month: October = O "Oh"
November = J
December = K
Jan-Sept = the number of the month
4-6: Depth in whole inches
7-10: Snow water equivalent in tenths of inches
- Blanks indicate no data.
- The first 10-character observation is for a date near January 1.
- The second 10-character observation is for a date near February 1.
- The third is for a date near March 1, the 4th near April 1, etc.
- If no observation, the 10-characters for that approximate date are held blank with "spacers".
- Some stations have 3 characters from 11-13 as dummy numbers, followed by Water Year, then 2 more dummy numbers.
- Some stations have been estimated from snow pillows (S in column 8).
- Some dates are given as EST. When EST is used, the months start at Jan and go thru about Jun. These stations may have dummy characters.
- Some stations are aerial courses. These may have the 10-character positions zero-filled.
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