Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) is a common snowpack measurement. It is defined as the amount of water contained within the snowpack. These snowpack projections are produced by using a land surface/hydrology model known as the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model. The VIC model uses high resolution LOCA precipitation and temperature data from Scripps Institution Of Oceanography as input to calculate SWE and a suite of additional parameters. Details are described in Pierce et al., 2016 and Pierce et al., 2014.

Cal-Adapt provides access to monthly averages for 10 downscaled global climate models with two future scenarios RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 and a historical modeled scenario through the Cal-Adapt API. These 10 models were selected by California agencies for performance in the California/Nevada region. For more details on this process see Perspectives and Guidance for Climate Change Analysis. Data for 31 models is available in NetCDF format from the Cal-Adapt Data Server.

Spatial Resolution and Extent

The spatial resolution of this data is 1/16ยบ (approximately 6 km). The spatial extent available on Cal-Adapt covers entire state of California and Nevada and parts of Oregon, Mexico and Arizona.

Temporal Resolution

Download Data

  • Download SWE data for 32 models (CMIP5) and 3 scenarios (RCP4.5, RCP8.5, Historical Modeled) in NetCDF4 format from Cal-Adapt Data Server maintained by the Geopspatial Innovation Facility, UC Berkeley.
Climate Variable