Daily North American Snow Cover

Imagery of the MODIS snow-cover fraction (SCF),  from the MODIS standard data product http://modis-snow-ice.gsfc.nasa.gov/  made by Land Atmosphere Near real time Capability for EOS (LANCE) is displayed to provide a view of North America snow cover in near-real time (NRT).  The snow map is updated through the day as the MODIS orbit progresses westward.   If you click on an area of interest it will be enlarged if the image was acquired within 7 days.

Near real time snow-cover maps can be used to view the extent of snow cover after storm clouds clear from a region, to assess when there are clear views of snow-covered land, and to determine overall snow-cover extent on the continent.

Caveat: false snow detection along cloud fringes is a commonly-observed situation associated with uncertain cloud detection or cloud-shadowed land.

LANCE http://lance.nasa.gov/ provides access to NRT data products from the MODIS (Terra and Aqua) and other EOS instruments in less than 3 hours from the observation time.

Project Description

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) is a 36-channel visible to thermal-infrared sensor that was first launched as part of the Earth Observing System (EOS) Terra payload on 18 December 1999. A second MODIS was launched as part of the payload on the Aqua satellite on 4 May, 2002.

A suite of snow and ice products is produced from the MODIS instruments, and the products are available at different spatial and temporal resolutions as shown in the table to the right. The MODIS snow product suite begins with a 500-m resolution, 2330-km swath snow-cover map which is then gridded to a sinusoidal grid. The sequence proceeds to climate-modeling grid (CMG) products on a latitude/longitude (cylindrical equidistant projection). The products are archived at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, CO.