Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS)

browse graphicNESIS rankings and maps for snowstorm events.
While the Fujita and Saffir-Simpson Scales characterize tornadoes and hurricanes respectively, there is no widely used scale to classify snowstorms. The Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS) developed by Paul Kocin of The Weather Channel and Louis Uccellini of the National Weather Service characterizes and ranks high-impact Northeast snowstorms. These storms have large areas of 10 inch snowfall accumulations and greater. NESIS has five categories: Extreme, Crippling, Major, Significant, and Notable. The index differs from other meteorological indices in that it uses population information in addition to meteorological measurements. Thus NESIS gives an indication of a storm's societal impacts. NESIS scores are a function of the area affected by the snowstorm, the amount of snow, and the number of people living in the path of the storm. The aerial distribution of snowfall and population information are combined in an equation that calculates a NESIS score which varies from around one for smaller storms to over ten for extreme storms. The raw score is then converted into one of the five NESIS categories. The largest NESIS values result from storms producing heavy snowfall over large areas that include major metropolitan centers. For details on how NESIS scores are calculated at the National Climatic Data Center, see Squires and Lawrimore (2006).
Cite this dataset when used as a source.
  • NCEI DSI 3289_01
  • gov.noaa.ncdc:C00453
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Distributor Customer Engagement Branch
DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
1-828-271-4800
ncei.orders@noaa.gov
Dataset Point of Contact User Services and Engagement Branch
DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
+1 828-271-4800
ncei.orders@noaa.gov
Time Period 1956-03-18 to Present
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates
N: 50.0
S: 30.0
E: -65.0
W: -100.0
Spatial Coverage Map
Dataset Information
General Documentation
Associated Resources
Publication Dates
  • publication: 2006-01-01
Data Presentation Form Digital table - digital representation of facts or figures systematically displayed, especially in columns
Dataset Progress Status Under development - data is currently in the process of being created
Data Update Frequency As needed
Purpose The NESIS was developed because of the impact snowstorms in the northeast can have on the rest of the country in terms of transportation and economic impact.
Cited Authors
  • User Engagement and Services Branch
    DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC > National Climatic Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Originators
  • User Engagement and Services Branch
    DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC > National Climatic Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Publishers
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC > National Climatic Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Theme keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Science Keywords
  • Earth Science > Atmosphere > Precipitation > Solid Precipitation > Snow
  • Earth Science > Hydrosphere > Snow/Ice > Snow Depth
  • Earth Science > Human Dimensions > Natural Hazards > Meteorological Hazards
Data Center keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Data Center Keywords
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC > National Climatic Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Platform keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Platform Keywords
  • Meteorological Stations
Instrument keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Instrument Keywords
  • Snow Measuring Rod
Place keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
  • Continent > North America > United States Of America
Stratum keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
  • Vertical Location > Land Surface
Use Constraints
  • Use Constraints: Acknowledgement of the Data Originator when using the Data Item as a source is required.
  • Use liability: NOAA and NCEI cannot provide any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of furnished data. Users assume responsibility to determine the usability of these data. The user is responsible for the results of any application of this data for other than its intended purpose.
Access Constraints
  • Distribution liability: NOAA and NCEI make no warranty, expressed or implied, regarding these data, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NOAA and NCEI cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in these data. If appropriate, NCEI can only certify that the data it distributes are an authentic copy of the records that were accepted for inclusion in the NCEI archives.
Fees
  • In most cases, electronic downloads of the data are free, however fees may apply for data certifications, copies of analog materials, and data distribution on physical media.
Lineage information for: dataset
Lineage Statement NESIS scores are a function of the area affected by the snowstorm, the amount of snow, and the number of people living in the path of the storm. For more information, please review documentation relating to the dataset.
Processing Steps
  • For details on how NESIS scores are calculated at the National Climatic Data Center, see documentation associated with the dataset.
Source Datasets
  • Snowstorm Database
    • Snowstorm Database
      Landing page for the Snowstorm Database, including links and other information.
    • Description of Source: Source dataset
    • Temporal extent used: 1900-01-01 to Present
  • U.S. Counties (Generalized) [from Census 2000]
    • Data and Maps for ArcGIS
      Links to the map information used.
    • Description of Source: Provided population data for data calculations
    • Temporal extent used: 1900-01-01 to Present
Lineage information for: repository
Processing Steps
  • 2015-04-22T00:00:00 - NOAA created the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) by merging NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC), and National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), including the National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC), per the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, Public Law 113-235. NCEI launched publicly on April 22, 2015.
Acquisition Information (collection)
Instrument
  • SNOW MEASURING ROD
Platform
  • METEOROLOGICAL STATIONS
Last Modified: 2018-05-25
For questions about the information on this page, please email: ncei.orders@noaa.gov