Snowstorm Database

browse graphicRSI map based on Snowstorm Database
The Snowstorm Database is a collection of over 500 snowstorms dating back to 1900 and updated operationally. Only storms having large areas of heavy snowfall (10-20 inches or greater) are included. The spatial extent includes the contiguous U.S. but the most storms are in the eastern two thirds of the U.S. This is the only comprehensive data set with starting and ending dates along with daily and total storm snowfall for large snowstorms from 1900 to the present. The data is archived in shapefile format, one shapefile per storm. Shapefiles are a non-proprietary spatial format widely used in Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Each shapefile contains daily and storm total snowfall for weather stations that were affected by the snowstorm. The snowfall data comes from the Global Historical Climatological Network - Daily (GHCN-D).
  • Cite as: Squires, Mike(2012). Snowstorm Database [Indicate subset used]. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. [Access date]
  • NCEI DSI 3288_01
  • gov.noaa.ncdc:C00464
Search Data
Download Data
Distribution Formats
  • Shapefile
    • File Specification: http://www.esri.com/library/whitepapers/pdfs/shapefile.pdf
    • File Compression:
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 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
Coverage Description
Time Period 1900-01-01 to Present
Spatial Reference System urn:ogc:def:crs:EPSG::9822
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates
N: 24.0
S: 50.0
E: -66.0
W: -125.0
Spatial Coverage Map
General Documentation
Associated Resources
  • Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale
  • Regional Snowfall Impact Scale
    • Regional Snowfall Impact Scale (download)
      Product uses the Snowstorm Database for development. It is an evolution of the NESIS, see the landing page for more information about the RSI Index
Publication Dates
  • publication: 2012-11-30
Data Presentation Form Digital table - digital representation of facts or figures systematically displayed, especially in columns
Dataset Progress Status Ongoing - data is continually being updated
Data Update Frequency As needed
Purpose The original purpose of this data set was to provide input for the calculation of the Regional Snowfall Index (RSI) and the Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS), which are snowfall impact scales produced operationally by NCDC. This data has also been used for analyzing trends of large snowstorms. The data can be used to make maps of historical snowstorms or for exploratory data analysis of historical storms. Archiving the data as shapefiles allows external users such as emergency managers, researchers, or anyone from snow sensitive entities to use the data directly in a GIS.
Use Limitations
  • Shapefiles are processed and made available as soon as possible after a snowstorm event. The database does not update on a regular basis as snowstorms arrive irregularly.
Dataset Citation
  • Cite as: Squires, Mike(2012). Snowstorm Database [Indicate subset used]. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. [Access date]
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 > Terrestrial Hydrosphere > Snow/Ice > Snow Depth
  • Earth Science > Human Dimensions > Natural Hazards > Meteorological Hazards
Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Essential Climate Variables (ECVs)
  • Precipitation
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
Data Resolution keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Temporal Data Resolution Keywords
  • T: Daily - < Weekly
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Horizontal Data Resolution Keywords
  • H: 10 km - < 50 km
Stratum keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
  • Vertical Location > Land Surface
Keywords
  • Snowfall
  • Snowstorms
  • Societal Impacts
  • GIS
  • Shapefiles
Use Constraints
  • Cite as: Squires, Mike(2012). Snowstorm Database [Indicate subset used]. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. [Access date]
  • 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: 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.
Last Modified: 2018-11-05
For questions about the information on this page, please email: ncei.orders@noaa.gov