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The Pacific Crest Trail snow report is designed to aid hikers in determining the best time to head into the mountains based on snow conditions. Each hikers skill-set and comfort level with these conditions will differ.
The Pacific Crest Trail snow report uses SNODAS modeled snow data and MODIS reflectivity data. SNODAS gives us a good idea about the quantity of frozen water sitting on the ground, denoted by SWE (Snow Water Equivalence) in inches. Coverage is often poorly represented by SNODAS where snow cover is thin. The 8 day MODIS data, without regard for quantity, shows us what areas were snow covered at some point over the last 8 days. Cloud cover and darkness adversely affects MODIS detection significantly, hence we use the 8 day as opposed to the single day coverage. This is the only combined MODIS/SNODAS PCT snow map on the internet. It's also the only Sentinel-2 data with trail alignments.
Trail snow is not snow pack. The Postholer snow page focuses on snow on or near the trail, at trail elevation, not on snow condtions thousands of feet lower/higher and miles away from the trail. Ski resort snow reports and snow pack charts are a very poor representation of trail snow conditions.
SNODAS SWE, Entire Trail
SNODAS/MODIS, Crabtree Mdw to Tuolumne Mdw
Sentinel-2 20m (~65 feet) Snow Cover
SNODAS SWE, Sierra
Sierra Entry Indicator (SEI)
Sierra Entry Indicator - The SEI is to help you determine what snow conditions are like in the heart of the sierra. This looks at hundreds of locations between Crabtree Meadow and Tuolumne Meadow (182 miles, perfectly overlapping the JMT) and gets the percent of average snow conditions. The SEI updates between Nov 1st and June 16th, so long as the historical SWE for the date is > 3". Last Update: Apr 22, 2020. Trail snow, not snow pack, is 87% of average for this date.
(for entertainment purposes only)
SNODAS/MODIS, Oregon, Crater Lake/Hwy 62 to Olallie Lake
SNODAS SWE, Oregon
SNODAS/MODIS, Washington, Snoqualmie Pass to Canada
SNODAS SWE, Washington
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