New @USDA_NRCS Interactive #snow maps are up! @NRCS_WA_SNOW

If you're a winter, snow, river or agricultural enthusiast, then there's a good chance that you have looked at the daily snow water equivalent (SWE) maps that the NRCS National Water and Climate Center puts out. These maps generally average across select watersheds by state, and the size of those watersheds' hydrologic unit codes (HUCs) varies by state (see WY vs CO below). This data is used for estimating water stored on mountainsides throughout the year, and, as you may have seen on this site, has generally been on the dry side of wet in recent years. These maps paint a very general picture of snowpack status around the West. Today, between Mother's and Memorial Day, 2017, we're looking at a more optimistic picture across the West:

These maps update daily and are available at: https://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/data/water/wcs/gis/maps/west_swepctnormal_update.pdf

This map updates daily and is available at: https://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/data/water/wcs/gis/maps/wa_swepctnormal_update.pdf

Now, the NRCS has introduced a new, updated interface that builds on several station reports that were historically available but less fun to browse: https://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/webmap/index.html:

The National Water and Climate Center has a new map interface for snow water equivalent and snowpack
Now the public, from skiers to farmers to boaters to state highway departments, can get clean and clear looks at current snow conditions across the western U.S. in an interactive web map. The best part is that it's highly searchable from a single interactive page, updates in real time, and shows both the historic 30-year snowpack and SWE and current snowpack and SWE. While not as shock and awe as the averaged maps, this is really useful for finding a lot of SWE and snowfall data, especially at specific sites, in one place*.

Lots of query options for a site or set of sites.

Rainy Pass, North Cascades, WA

Ahead of the curve in the North Cascades in mid-May

So, next time you find yourself in a deep snowpack and wet spring that reminds you of Water World, remember that you can check to see how anomalous the snowpack really is.



*Kind of like a giant version of Alex Walker's Bear River Hydrology page for northern Utah.