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Snow Survey Centennial Celebration, 1906-2006

"In 1906 I offered to climb Mount Rose every month for a year to obtain temperatures on mountaintops. The United States Weather Bureau furnished the thermometers, the Adams Fund was available for research in agriculture, and the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station was willing. The Study of snow was begun."

 -Dr. James E. Church, The Snow Surveyors' Forum, Western Snow Conference, 1952.

The Mt. Rose snow sampler and scale were developed and patented in the winter of 1908-09 to determine the water equivalent of the snow deposited on the ground; and in the Spring of 1910, Dr. Church produced the first forecast of the Lake Tahoe rise…the first known water supply forecast in the Western United States.

The Federal government entered the snow survey picture July 1, 1935, by an Act of Congress to coordinate and expand the system of snow surveys then existing, for water supply forecasting to all of the Western States. The techniques developed by Dr. James E. Church and others were the beginning of the current NRCS Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Program that is carried out by NRCS field personnel under the direction of their respective State Conservationist.

Throughout 2006, the centennial year of the study of snow, we will bring you the fascinating history of this remarkable program, including stories and pictures of actual surveys, helicopter accidents, avalanches, moose attacks, economic analyses, floods, droughts, saving the farm and even death. We hope that you are educated as well as thoroughly entertained by our history, the current program and our passion for all things Snow and Water.

Photo Gallery

Snow Survey Centennial Photo Gallery

Snow Survey Centennial Newsletters

These documents require Adobe Acrobat.

Adobe Acrobat Icon  Future Expectations for the Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Program  (January 1, 2007)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  How Snow Survey Data and Products are Used  (December 25, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Canada, Mexico, and the USA  (December 18, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  The Navajo Nation Cooperative Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Program  (December 11, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Shotguns and Bears Beware  (December 4, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  SNOTEL Electronics History  (November 28, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Helicopter and Snowmobile Crashes  (October 23, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Snow Survey Transportation Thru the Years  (October 10, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  The Today and Tomorrow of Snow and Water Supply Forecasting  (September 25, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Outside Inside: A New Climatologist's Perspective  (September 18, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Flameout Over Evening Star (August 28, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  The Last of a Good Thing (August 14, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  A Good Nights Sleep (August 7, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  The Lake Vanda Swim Club (July 24, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Hole-In-Mountain Avalanche (July 17, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Trip Report of Lightening Creek Trail Snow Survey Accident  (June 26, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  The Salt River Project and the Arizona Cooperative Snow Survey & Water Supply Forecasting Program (June 12, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Alaska Snow Survey Bear Tale (June 5, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Whiskey and Snow Snakes (May 29, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  "Adopt-a-SNOTEL Site" Program Teaches the Next Generation of Snow Surveyors (May 22, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  News Release -- USDA and University of Nevada Celebrate 100 Years of Studying Snow and Streamflow Forecasting (May 15, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Operation Snow-Cat Cascade (May 8, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  The First Water Supply Forecasts (May 1, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Water Forecasts Key for Salmon Tract Irrigators (April 24, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  The First Honorary Memberships to the Western Snow Conference (April 17, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Water Supply Forecasting through the Ages (April 10, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  History of Data Collection on Mt. Rose, Nevada (April 3, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Surviving the Sante Fe Watershed, 2003 (March 27, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Snow Survey Training School - Doin' it Right and Comin' Back Alive (March 20, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Cabin Fever (March 13, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Snow Surveying in Moose Country can be Dangerous (March 6, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Benefits of the Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Program (February 27, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Today's Program Economics (February 20, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Excerpts from the diary of Paul Willmore (February 13, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Early Snow Survey Program Economics (February 6, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Beginnings of the Western Snow Conference (January 30, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Monte Cristo Snow Course, 1936 (January 23, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Unlimited Horizons (January 16, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  The Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Program (January 9, 2006)
Adobe Acrobat Icon  Introduction: We get paid for this? (January 2, 2006)


Snowflake images used with permission from SnowCrystals.com.