UK Snow Dec 2009 to Jan 2010

UK Snow Dec 2009 to Jan 2010

There has been quite a lot of interest about using Twitter to crowd source snow amounts, but I couldn’t help wondering how this compares to the data available from the Met Office observing network. Over the period from 20 December 2009 to 15 January 2010 I downloaded the synoptic information from the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at the university of Albany. I then processed this using a GTS processor that I wrote, putting the decoded reports for the UK into a postgres database. Then it was a simple matter to write a Java program to interrogate this database and generate a kml file:

KML file of UK Snow Depth

If you want to see what the original data looks like, then I’ve placed a CSV file at the following link:


Although I could only get data for the hours 06:00, 12:00 and 18:00, the current snow depth will display in the KML animation until the next observation is available. This information is available for every individual hour, only not on the international feed from Albany. The data shown is snow depth on the ground in centimetres from the “sss” group in section 3 of the Synop. The height of the bars represent the depth of the snow, with colours as follows:

  • 0-4 cm blue
  • 5-9 cm cyan
  • 10-14 cm green
  • 15-19 cm yellow
  • 20 cm and over red