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Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Program


NRCS hydrologists manage a comprehensive network of manually-measured snow courses and automated Snow Telemetry (SNOTEL) monitoring sites throughout the West, manage the data collection process, and estimate the runoff that will occur when it melts.

Data, Tools, and Reports Available to the Public

Snow and Water Interactive Map
Snow and Precipitation Update Report
Report Generator
Water Supply Forecasting
AWDB Web Service Tools
Reservoir Storage Reports and Tools

Snow Program Organization

States in the West collect mountain snowpack and precipitation data in their areas, and offer regular reports on those areas utilizing the national database. Individuals, organizations, and state and federal agencies use the information provided for decisions relating to agricultural production, fish and wildlife management, municipal and industrial water supply, urban development, flood control, recreation, power generation, and water quality management.

Organizationally, the SSWSF Program is composed of two major operations:

  • A network of Data Collection Offices (DCOs) located in key areas of the western U.S., including Alaska. Each of these states has a team of snow surveyors, water supply specialists, hydrologists, and technicians who gather, analyze, and disseminate snowpack and climate data for their respective regions.
  • A centralized National Water and Climate Center (NWCC) administers the information systems and other aspects of the program. The hydrologic data collected by each of the DCOs are analyzed by a team of forecast hydrologists at the National Water and Climate Center. During the January-June snowpack season, NWCC staff produce detailed water supply and streamflow forecasts for the 13 western states. Each state uses these data to produce monthly Water Supply Outlook Reports.



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