Snow and Ice Cover - Map Viewer

Snow Cover Maps

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How much of the Northern Hemisphere is covered with snow and ice today? How has that changed over the satellite record?

Daily image maps show the extent of snow and ice over the contiguous United States, Alaska, or the whole Northern Hemisphere. You can explore sequences of images to see how snow and ice cover grow and shrink over a year or change from decade to decade.

How were these data collected?

Instruments on satellites measure the reflectance of Earth's surface in various wavelengths every day. Snow and ice have a recognizable pattern of reflectance, so the satellite data can be processed to show where snow and ice are present.