Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Clip art representing satellite telemetry and data storage

Water and Climate Data Collection and Stewardship

The National Water and Climate Center manages big data from thousands of climate stations and manual data collection sites across North America, and makes that data available to the public.

The Water and Climate Information System, usually referred to as WCIS, supports thousands of users and trillions of dollars of economic value every year. WCIS is comprised of the databases, applications, and tools which support the extensive data collection network of the Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting (SSWSF) Program and the Soil Climate Analysis Network.

Snow data are collected at automated Snow Telemetry (SNOTEL) sites or manually-measured snow courses in the West. Soil climate data are collected at automated Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN) sites throughout the U.S. Data are transmitted either to intermediate Master Stations or directly back to the centralized database servers, which are located in a secure, fail-safe environment.

The WCIS database also ingests precipitation, streamflow, and reservoir data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), the Applied Climate Information System (ACIS), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), various water districts and other entities.

All of the data collected are made publicly available as charts, graphs, maps, reports, and even in raw form.

Data Collection and Telemetry

Manual Snow Measurements
Automated Snow Monitoring
Automated Soil Climate Monitoring
Data Transmission and Telemetry

How to Access Snow and Water Data