Snow Water Equivalent

The map below shows Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) for the Canadian Prairies. SWE represents the depth of water (in mm) that would be produced if the snow melted. The coloured contours show variations in SWE derived from passive microwave satellite data. Data are updated approximately weekly throughout the winter months. Historical Prairie SWE data (back to 1978) are available on the Historical Variations in Snow Cover page of this site.

Map from Environment Canada:

Figure 1: Snow-water equivalent (SWE) maps for the Canadian Prairies, as derived from SSM/I satellite data (further information on map construction methodology available HERE). Weekly SWE maps are available during the winter months. The yearly SWE animation and the monthly Actual, Normal, Anomaly, and Percent Anomaly maps are made available each summer after the end of the snow season (actual, normal, and anomalies not produced after 2012-2013 season). Data courtesy of Environment Canada, A. SIlis, current as of 4 February 2015.

Note: Maps are not available for every week of every year as snow cover is variable and the snow season is shorter in some years than in others. Actual, Normal, and Anomaly maps for the first day of each month are available for January, February, and March only. Weekly SWE maps are available for December to May for 1999 to 2013; biweekly SWE maps for 1997-1998 and 1998-1999. Some years also have November and June Weekly SWE maps. Maps from 1997-1999 have less availability than later years.

Snow Links

Material on this page was edited by Maren Pauly, Department of Geography, University of Waterloo.