Maine Cooperative Snow Survey

This information is provided by a partnership with Department of Conservation, Agriculture and Forestry, Maine Geological Survey and the USGS New England Water Science Center, Maine Office. For snow survey data prior to 2008, please contact the USGS New England Water Science Center.

Survey Date Equivalent Water Content in Snowpack Change in Water Content from Preceding Survey Snowpack Depth Snowpack Density Water Content in Snowpack Compared to Historical Values Mean Water Content in a Drainage Basin ASCII Text File
September 19, 2007 The Farmers' Almanac is predicting cold and snowy conditions for the Northeast in 2007-2008, while the National Weather Service suggests slightly above normal temperatures and equal chances for below normal, normal, and above normal precipitation. We'll decide who was right next April. The survey dates for the coming season will be posted in the next several weeks. In the meantime, enjoy the great Fall weather.....
January 22, 2008

Let's give round 1 to The Farmers' Almanac... Nice SE to NW gradient in snow depth and water content. Relatively uniform densities. All of the State normal or above normal in water content. What more is there to say...

Additional data and revised maps uploaded 1/24.

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February 20, 2008

We'll give round 2 to The Farmers' Almanac, too, but call it a split decision... We did have the warm-up in January, but there certainly is a lot of snow, with all but a few sites in the top 25-percent of historic measurements. The recent rains have made drawing the snow/no snow line difficult along the coast (even more so than normal), so don't put a lot of faith in that feature.

Additional data and revised maps uploaded 2/21.

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March 5, 2008

Round 3 goes to The Farmers' Almanac. Lots of snow and lots of water. In many cases in western Maine, the measured water content is the highest value measured at that site since 1969, which generated the Mother of all snowpacks. For sites started after 1969, many record measurements. Needless to say, the bulk of the State shows in the highest 25-percent of measured water content. The precipitation on the 5th may have added a bit to the water content.

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March 11, 2008

The storms over the weekend produced mixed results throughout the State. Northern and eastern Maine added a few inches; central, western and southern Maine either lost an inch or so or only saw changes of less than +/- an inch of water. The bulk of the State remains in the highest 25-percent of historic measurements, with many areas in the highest 10-percent (check out the new and improved map of water content in snowpack compared to historical values). And the roads.... don't get me started....

We have created revised maps based on data extrapolated from the major survey of March 2-4. Water content and depth for sites measured in the March 2-4 window were used together with the change in water content and depth for sites measured in both surveys to estimate water content and depth at sites not measured in the March 10-11 survey. This provides more detail in the headwaters of the major rivers. This extrapolation method is useful for the first few surveys after the major survey on-or-about March 1. The data table, however, contains only the actual measurements made in the March 10-11 survey.

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March 18, 2008

No need to extrapolate data from the March 2-4 survey as our 3/19: friends at Brookfield Power and FPL provided us with extra sites this week. The snow is holding it's own and actually picked up water in various parts of the State. We are missing data from extreme southern Maine and eastern Aroostook County for these provisional maps, but I don't expect to see anything different when we make the final maps tomorrow. Much of the State is now in the 90th-percentile of historic measurements for water content - we're making history!

3/19: Revised maps with data from southern and northern Maine. As expected, no change in the overall picture of much higher than normal water contents throughout the northern 2/3 of the State.

3/19: Additional data from northern and eastern Maine.

3/20: Additional data from southern Maine.

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March 25, 2008

First, the maps are again based in part on data from last week's survey (3/18) in order to get some detail in the headwater portions of the Androscoggin, Kennebec, and Penobscot basins. Northern Maine picked up between 0 and 2 inches of water with the events of last week, with the rest of the State either holding it's own or losing a bit near the coast. The maps right along the coast are problematic. And, as expected, more of the State has moved into the 90th percentile of historic water content - we should be losing water content briskly now, not gaining.....

3/26: Additional data and revised maps.

3/27: Additional data and revised maps.

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April 1, 2008

April 1st - no comment.... Picking up a little water up north; losing a little water south of Route 2 except around the Sebago area. Again, everywhere above the 75th percentile with most of the State above the 90th percentile. Just like last week, and the week before, and the week before that....

4/2: Additional data and revised maps.

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April 8, 2008

Finally!!! Some consistent loss of water across the southern third of the State.... And, much of the southern half of the State has dropped below the 90th percentile for water content. With only limited data from the upper Penobscot and St. John basins, the maps may underestimate the area with water content above 12 inches.

4/9: Additional data in Northern Maine and revised maps.

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April 15, 2008

First, time for the unashamedly subjective results of the totally non-scientific and ill-advised competition I proposed at the start of the season: the Almanac clearly called the precipitation correctly, but the Weather Service called the slightly warmer-than-normal temperatures.....

As far as the snowpack is concerned, melting is accelerating in southern and central Maine, and just starting to take effect up north (more so in eastern Arootook County than in the North Woods). Overall, it looks like I'll still be measuring snow in May.....

4/16: Corrected data for Kenduskeag; revised maps.

4/17: Additional data from northern and eastern Maine; revised maps.

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April 22, 2008

Warm temperatures and sun have taken their toll on the snowpack with losses of 5, 6, and up to 7 inches of water in the past week. This has been reflected in the rivers, with flood watches and warnings along the Kennebec and the Mattawamkweag Rivers in Maine and the St. John River in New Brunswick.

Last week it looked like I'd be measuring snow in western Maine into May - now, it looks like next week may be my last survey....

4/23: Additional data from western and eastern Maine revised maps

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April 29, 2008

Certainly the last set of maps for this year. The only significant snow is in the upper Allagash and St. John basins and along the Quebec-Maine border in western Maine (based on remote sensing data from the National Weather Service's National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center). The "no data" area reflects the fact that we have no sites in this part of the world.

4/30: Additional data and revised maps.

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January 1, 2009 2008 Snow Survey maps have been archived. 2009 Survey dates are listed below. Dates are Tuesdays; maps will be posted here Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning following receipt and compilation of statewide snow survey data.
January 20, 2009

Tuesday the 20th was a nice day for a snow survey in January.... I've certainly seen a lot worse. Water content is normal to above normal for this time of year where we have data or statistics. With the upcoming colder temperatures, the snow should hold very well for snow sports. Additional snow measurement data was used to revise the maps on 1/22/09.

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February 17, 2009

Not much snow accumulated in the state over the past month. Snowpack density (water content/depth) went from an average of around .20 in mid-January to an average of around .25 in mid-February. Water content increased by about an inch in most areas of the state. The large storm that hit Maine on February 22nd and 23rd should appear in the data collected next week.

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March 3, 2009

Snowpack depth and density increased this week across southern, central and eastern Maine after Monday's (3/2/09) big storm. More data is due in tomorrow to better gauge amounts in Washington County. There is certainly lots of snow across the state. Winter sports enthusiasts must be happy again this year!

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March 4, 2009

Snowpack depth and density increased this week across southern, central and eastern Maine after Monday's (3/2/09) big storm. Over 180 sites were sampled this week to compile the maps. There is certainly lots of snow across the state. Winter sports enthusiasts must be happy!

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March 10, 2009

Most of the state is within the 50 percent range of the historic record with eastern portions of the state in the highest 25 percent of historic measurements. We will continue our weekly readings and track whether we gain or lose water in the snowpack. Snow depths ranged from 13.2 to 38.3 inches and the water content in the snowpack ranged from 3.4 to 9.7 inches.

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March 17, 2009

Snowpack depths (in inches) ranged from 9" in Pittsfield (central Maine) to over 37" at the Parlin Pond and Churchill Ridge sites (northwestern Maine). Water content ranged from 2" to almost 11". Snowpack densities are increasing and now range from .20 to .30 across much of the state. The recent warm weather has begun to erode the snowpack but mostly in southern and coastal Maine.

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March 24, 2009

A steady decline in snowpack depth and water content continues across the state, although at a faster rate in southern, central and downeast regions. Northern and mountain regions of the state still are covered by over two feet of snow which contains over six and up to ten inches of water. Snowpack densities are on the rise in southern Maine. Forecasters at both ends of the state are keeping an eye on a rain event predicted for Saturday night into Sunday. Rain and warm temperatures in the headwaters may lead to potential flooding. Stay tuned......

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March 31, 2009

The steady decline in water content and snowpack depth continues. For the first time this season areas of no snow were reported in York and Cumberland Counties. Northeastern Aroostook County picked up additional snowfall from Monday's storm. Water content in the snowpack in headwater regions remains high. Rivers and streams should be monitored in upcoming days with a flood watch in effect.

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April 7, 2009

Lots of melting statewide this past week. Southern Maine sites went to either a trace or to no snow with central and northern Maine snow sites losing between one and four inches of water.

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April 14, 2009

The slow melting of this season's snowpack continues. The southern third of the state is either snow free or showing just a trace. Northern areas are also thinning out. Correction made to data file after a mistake was found and maps remade (4/22/09).

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April 21, 2009

This will be the last set of maps for the year. The only significant snow left in the state is in northern Aroostook County with some areas in the 6 - 12 inch range.

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January 5, 2010

2010 Maine Cooperative Snow Survey started this week, right after the big weekend storm. Seventy-seven sites were reported across the State of Maine and along the border in New Hampshire. Of the Maine sites the maximum snow depth was 29.0 inches with a water content of 5.4 inches at Knowles Corner in Aroostook County. The minimum amount of snow measured in Maine was in Falmouth (Cumberland County) with 6.4 inches of snow with a water content of 1.0 inches. The next survey will take place the week of February 8th, 2010. First set of maps was revised on 1/11/10 after receiving additional readings late last week

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February 9, 2010

The snow drought continues across much of the State of Maine, although cold temperatures have keep the snowpack fairly intact. Depths range from 2.5 inches in Bucksport to 24 inches in Fort Kent. There has been little loss or gain in water content in the snowpack since the January survey. Much of the meltwater from the January rain is locked up in ice in Maine's rivers.

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March 3, 2010

From the Maine River Flow Advisory Commission meeting on March 4, 2010: Despite a ”topsy-turvy” winter that has brought far more snow to Washington DC than to Maine, spring flood potential is in the normal range for the time of year, according to Maine’s River Flow Advisory Commission. The Commission, meeting today in Augusta, reviewed information on current hydrologic conditions across the state, as well as short-term weather forecasts.

“The snowpack in the headwaters of our major rivers is in the normal range for the time of year, thanks in large part to the storm last week,” said Bob Lent, Director of the USGS Maine Water Science Center and co-chairman of the Commission. “There may be a sense of complacency that the flood risk is over because there is very little snow in the southern part of the State, and the very visible ice jam in the Kennebec is gone. But risk factors for spring flooding are still there.”

Heavy rains can cause flooding at any time of year. However, additional risk factors in the spring include snowpack, frozen or saturated ground, and river ice.

The headwaters of the Kennebec, Androscoggin and Penobscot Rivers have an average 5 to 7 inches of water contained in the snowpack, with locally higher amounts, according to this week’s survey. This puts most of the headwaters areas in the normal range for the time of year.

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March 9, 2010

Number of sites visited this week is way down from the first of March survey, down from over 150 to under 50 sites measured. Data shows a slow loss of snow in southern Maine with isolated sites in northern Maine also losing snow. With little precipitation in the forecast and the warmer temperatures the slow melting of the snowpack will continue.

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March 16, 2010

With one hundred and fifteen sites visited so far this week we have a good picture of how much snow is remaining across the state. The range in depth was 0 to 34.2 inches of snow and the range in water is from 0 to 10.6 inches. Highest amount of snow and the highest water content were at the Parlin Pond site in Somerset County.

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March 23, 2010

Record warm temperatures across the state in the past week have helped erode the snowpack. This week's cooler temperatures and moisture with rain and some snow will slow the melting. The high numbers for this past week are at the Crawford Pond site in TA R11 along the Appalachian Trail east of Moosehead Lake. 26.7 inches of snow were reported with 7.8 inches of water.

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March 30, 2010

Seventy four sites reported this week. High point winner was up in Allagash with 27.5 inches of snow with 7 inches of water. The steady decline continues and the measurements may end after next week. Warm temperatures are predicted for the upcoming weekend.

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April 6, 2010

Snow has melted across much of the state, although areas high in elevation are still holding onto their snowpack. Allagash site was again the high point this week with 14.4 inches of snow and 4.6 inches of water. Close behind was Winterville, measured by the Caribou office of the National Weather Service, with 12.5 inches of snow holding 4.6 inches of water.

This week will mark the end of measurements across much of the state.

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April 13, 2010

2010 Maine Cooperative Snow Survey has come to a close this week. Only a trace of snow was measured in Allagash on Tuesday. Some snow still remains in the highest elevations of Maine but none of the sites we visit are recording any measurable snow. Thanks to all of you who sent us data! See you next winter!

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January 4, 2011

Sparse amounts of snow in the southwestern and northeastern regions of the state, but densities are high compared to numbers in early 2010. Warm temperatures and some rainfall has knocked down the snowpack and storms staying in the Gulf of Maine have kept the snow from building up in the mountains. It is early so things are bound to improve for snow lovers.

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February 2, 2011

February survey, completed just before the 2/2 storm, shows a moderate increase since early January in snowpack depth and water content across much of the state. The exception is the St. John Valley in Aroostook County where snow totals remain on the low side. This week's high reading was in Greenville with 24.8 inches of snow (5.5 inches of water) while the low reading was 8.2 inches of snow (1.2 inches of water) in Fort Kent.

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March 1, 2011

Over 175 sites were measured in this week's extensive survey. Lots of snow is being measured across the entire state, a big change from early February when northern Aroostook County recorded low amounts of snow. Russell Pond, north of Moosehead Lake, recorded the highest totals in the latest survey with 41.8 inches of snow and 10.8 inches of water. The water content in the 24+ inches of snow across eastern Maine is high and bears watching. Weekly readings will now take place until the snowpack has melted.

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March 8, 2011

We dropped to 70 measurements this week, down from the 177 last week just ahead of the River Flow Advisory Commission meeting on 3/3. Their report on state-wide conditions can be viewed at: http://www.maine.gov/rfac/rfac_reports.shtml Snowpack and water content conditions changed across the state this week. The mostly rain event in southern Maine melted much of the snow. Snowpack lost between one and two inches of water. Copious amounts of snow fell across northern Maine with the NWS office in Caribou reporting 27 inches of new snow at Saint Pamphile from the storm of 3/6 - 3/7. Ice accumulations in southern Aroostook and northern Penobscot and Piscataquis Counties caused power outages from falling limbs. An inch of ice was reported in Houlton with an extensive band of over a half an inch of ice. Readings for the sites we visited this week include 47.8 inches of snow at Musquacook (12 inches of water) and 40 inches of snow with 10.8 inches of water at Allagash. Coastal Washington and Hancock Counties and mid-coast areas lost between 1 and 3 inches of water with the melting early this week.

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March 15, 2011

Snowpack depth and water content continue to decline across the state except for the western mountains where a slight gain is seen. Cool nights and warm days help keep the flood potential down, although a few areas have seen high water. Densities are beginning to rise across the state as spring-like weather sets in. Highest snow depth for the week was in Allagash with 43.3 inches while the highest water content was at Parlin Pond with 11.4 inches of water. Lowest reading of snow depth was at South Berwick with 7.8 inches.

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March 22, 2011

Seventy three sites were measured across the state this week. The maximum depth of snow was thirty seven inches with 8.55 inches of water at Musquacook. Clayton Lake was close behind. Densities are beginning to rise. Lowest reading was at Bucksport with 5.3 inches of snow and one inch of water.

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March 29, 2011

One hundred sites are included in this week's survey. High points were at Parlin Pond with 36.3 inches of snow and 10.7 inches of water along with Greenville (again) with 28.7 inches of snow and 11.7 inches of water. Densities continue to climb. Not much change has taken place across the state as cool nighttime temperatures have kept the snowpack in place.

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April 5, 2011

Sixty nine sites were measured this week. Snow depths ranged from 33.4 inches of snow at the Kennebec Water Power Company site at Carrabassett to 2.8 inches at West Kennebunk. Water contents ranged from 12.6 inches at Greenville/Greenville Junction to .39 inches at West Kennebunk.

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April 12, 2011

Eighty sites were measured across Maine this week. For the first time this season many sites reported just a trace of snow. The Carrabassett site near the southeast corner of Flagstaff Lake continues to have the most snow with 26.8 inches. The Greenville / Greenville Junction site has the most water with 11.4 inches. The most snow in the state is in a belt east and west of Moosehead Lake. Conditions are changing fast as warm temperatures and rain are helping to melt the snow.

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April 19, 2011

Snowpack depth and water content are dropping slowly as we move to the end of April. Many sites in southern and coastal Maine are either devoid of snow or showing just a trace. Highest snow amount this week is at the Charles Pond site near St. Pamphile with 22.6 inches of snow with Clayton Lake (21.8") and the Kennebec Water Company site at Carrabassett (21.0") not far behind.

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April 26, 2011

It looks like this will be the last week for surveying the snowpack across southern and eastern Maine. The snowpack is holding on in the mountains and in northwestern Maine but elsewhere it is almost all melted. A few readings from northern Maine may come in next week.

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May 3, 2011

Final set of 2011 Maine Cooperative Snow Survey products is now posted. Small amounts of snow are being reported in northwestern Maine. Thank you to all the cooperators who went out and collected data this year!

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January 4, 2012

2012 Maine Cooperative Snow Survey began this week. Fifty-nine sites were visited across the state. Only sixteen of the visited sites had measurable snow, with five sites recording a trace. This left thirty-eight sites with no snow at all!

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January 31, 2012

New data came in to fill in some big holes in the Allagash and St. John headwater areas so we have revised the maps. Snowpack depth and water content have increase significantly in the northern part of the state since early January while southern Maine shows a slight improvement. The most comprehensive survey of the year begins at the end of this month.

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February 28, 2012

Snowpack depth and water content have risen to normal levels in northern Maine since the survey done in early February. Over 180 sites were surveyed across the state this week. High point for snow depth was in Ashland with almost 36 inches of snow. A couple sites in northern Maine had water content of over seven inches. The March 1st snowstorm in southern Maine will show up in next week's survey.

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March 6, 2012

A few new sites were reported so the maps were revised. High points for the week of March 5th were Allagash with 35.6 inches of snow and Guerette with 7.7 inches of water in the snowpack.

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March 13, 2012

One hundred and eight sites were visited this week. Twenty of the sites in northern Maine had snowpack depths of over twenty inches. The high spot was Russell Pond, near the headwaters of the St. John River, which reported 28.5 inches of snow, holding 7.3 inches of water. Recent warm temperatures caused southern Maine to quickly lose the snow it had received early in the month.

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March 20, 2012

Snow is melting fast across the southern regions of the State. Ninety-two sites were measured this week. High point was again Russell Pond with measurements of 26.8 inches of snow and 8.2 inches of water. With our record warm temperatures many sites in southern Maine will drop out this week.

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March 27, 2012

A few new readings were reported from last week so the maps have been revised. The 2012 season of the Maine Cooperative Snow Survey is winding down fast. High spots for the week were Churchill Dam on the Allagash River with 8.8 inches of snow (2.9 inch water content) and Winterville with 9 inches of snow (2.7 inches of water). Most of the 69 sites visited across the State of Maine were either devoid of snow or just showing a trace. A map may be posted next week if anyone reports in.

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April 3, 2012

Thirty-eight sites were visited across the State this first week of April. Only three sites reported snow; the Seven Islands site at Charlie Pond with 3.7 inches of snow (1.6" water content), Portage at Hathaway Road with 1.7 inches of snow (.4" water content), and Churchill Dam on the Allagash River with 7.2 inches of snow (2.3" water content).

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April 10, 2012

Two readings were called in today (4/10/12). Richard Albert, USGS observer, called to report 50% cover (accounted for in the readings) at Charles Pond near St. Pamphile. Snow depth was 3.50 inches with a water content of 1.50 inches. Density was 0.43 percent. Kevin Brown, Chief Ranger on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, reported 7.5 inches of snow with a water content of 2.5 inches at Churchill Dam. Density was 0.33 percent.

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April 17, 2012
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April 24, 2012
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May 1, 2012
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January 9, 2013

2013 Maine Cooperative Snow Survey began this week. Snow was measured at approximately 75 sites across the state. Deepest snow in the state was measured at Knowles Corner in southern Aroostook County with 24.2 inches. Several areas in western Maine came close to that depth. Highest water content was also found at Knowles Corner with over five inches of water in the snow. The next survey will be conducted the first week of February.

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February 6, 2013

Diminished snow amounts in northern regions, with no snow measured in parts of southern Maine, was the rule in the early February 2013 Maine Cooperative Snow Survey. High reading for the State was in Weld with sixteen inches of snow containing over five inches of water.

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March 6, 2013

With about 164 sites reported in this 2013 Maine Cooperative Snow Survey's most extensive coverage date, a lot of snow is found across the State of Maine. Highest readings are found in the upper Kennebec and Androscoggin River drainage basins. Quite a change in water content is found across the state since the early February survey.

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March 13, 2013

Ninety-two sites reported this week. High values for the week were measured at Russell Pond, north of Seboomook Lake, with 35 inches of snow holding 9.7 inches of water.

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March 20, 2013

A Tuesday snowstorm fell on one of the survey days so we decided not to post snow survey maps for this week. We have only posted the text file with this week's readings.

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March 27, 2013

This is the first week with maps coming from a new mapping program. Comments on the changes are welcome.

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April 3, 2013

Measurements took place between March 29th and April 2nd. High values for the week were again at Russell Pond in northwestern Maine with almost 29 inches of snow holding over 10 inches of water. One hundred and twenty nine readings were reported. Measurements will continue for a few more weeks as the snow is holding on in western and northern Maine.

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April 10, 2013

Eighty sites were visited this week with many southern and coastal sites reporting no snow. High snow depth for the week was in Winterville with 23.8 inches of snow, while the high water content was found at Middle Dam with 8.5 inches of water. A historical comparison map has been constructed for the first time with the new mapping program.

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April 17, 2013

Seventy five sites were visited this week. High values were found at Parlin Pond in Somerset County with 31 inches of snow and 14.6 inches of water. Snow is holding on in northwestern sections of the state but much of southern Maine is snow free.

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April 24, 2013

Forty-seven readings were reported this week. High spot in Maine was the Bald Mountain site north of Jackman with 12.1 inches of snow containing 5.8 inches of water. If there are no reports sent in next week this will be the last report for 2013.

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May 1, 2013

Parlin Pond, just south of Jackman, was the only site reporting snow this week. 8.0 inches of snow with 4.6 inches of water were reported. Other sites which reported snow the week before were down to zero. This is the last report on the 2013 snow conditions.

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May 8, 2013
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Provisional product Provisional product; subject to revision Final product; no revisions Final product; no revisions Final product; revised from original product Final product; revised from original product No product for this survey data No product for this survey date

 

Map and Data Type Descriptions
Equivalent water content in snowpack: Maps of equivalent water content in the snowpack in 1-inch increments based on measurements obtained from the sources listed above.
Change in water content from preceding survey: Maps of the change in equivalent water content in the snowpack from the preceding survey.  Only prepared while weekly surveys are being conducted.
Snowpack depth: Snowpack depth in 6-inch increments based on measurements obtained from the sources listed above.
Snowpack density: Snowpack density (water equivalent in inches divided by snowpack depth in inches) based on measurements obtained from the sources listed above. A snowpack with densities above 0.33 is considered "ripe". A ripe snowpack no longer has the ability to absorb rainfall and would tend to release water during a rain event.
Equivalent water content in snowpack compared to historical values: These maps (called quartile maps) show areas where measured values of water content are in the lowest 25-percent of measured values (significantly below normal values), the middle 50-percent of measured values (roughly normal for this time of year), or upper 25-percent of measured values (significantly above (normal).
Mean water content in a drainage basin: Mean water content in a drainage basin. It is calculated by finding the mean value of water content in a basin from the equivalent water content map above. This average water content in the basin is used in some National Weather Service river flow models.
ASCII text file of snowpack data: An ASCII text file of the data used in preparing the maps for the current survey.  Includes the site id, site name, site latitude and longitude (in decimal degrees), site elevation (feet above mean sea level), the survey date, and the depth, equivalent water content, and density of the snowpack.