Annual Snow Timing Index Rasters for the Western US and Alaska, WY2001-2019

Published: 12-12-2020| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/57852x9rrx.2


Here, a collection of rasters describing annual snow onset (SO), snow cover duration (SCD), and day of snow disappearance (DSD) for WY2001-2019 over Alaska, Canada, and the Western United States (boundary box: -152W, -100W, 32N, 68N) are available. Units are in calendar Day of Year (DOY) for SO and DSD, and in days for SCD. These data accompany a manuscript entitled, "Investigating the Relationship Between Peak Snow-Water Equivalent and Snow Timing Indices in the Western U.S. and Alaska". A diagnostic model of peak SWE as a function of remotely sensed snow timing indices (the dataset provided here) was developed in the course of this study to address the following questions: 1) Are peak SWE and snow timing related?; 2) How does this relationship vary across the western United States?; and 3) What meteorological and topographical conditions affect this relationship?


Steps to reproduce

These rasters were created in the Google Earth Engine (GEE) from the MODIS MOD10A1 v006 product (MODIS/Terra Snow Cover Daily L3 Global 500m SIN Grid, Version 6). From the initial daily fSCA product, a moving median window (i.e., a low-pass filter) of filter length k=25 days was applied to obtain a binary snow cover series using a fractional cover threshold of 10% such that the timing indices may be extracted. The filter length smooths out small-scale short-lived snow deposition events that obscure snow timing. Pixels without seasonal snowpack (i.e., persistent year-round snow or little to no snow) were masked: within a given water year, pixels that 1) show no onset of snow between the 272nd day of year and end of calendar year (corresponding with the typical N. hemisphere timeframe for the start of snow accumulation), and/or 2) do not melt out between start of calendar year and the 272nd day of year (typical timeframe for the end of snowmelt) were masked. SCD was calculated as (DSD + 365 days - SO). Because of the large file size, rasters were split up spatially into multiple files by the GEE, and follow the naming convention for large file exports listed here: As stated, "the filename of each tile will be in the form baseFilename-yMin-xMin where xMin and yMin are the coordinates of each tile within the overall bounding box of the exported image." Each band represents a different water year and is labeled as such, e.g. "DSD_2001". Other tested fSCA thresholds (1%, 5%, 20%, 30%) will be added to a future repository version when more space is available.