Snow Water Equivalent Calculator






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Introduction to Snow Water Equivalent Calculator

Snow in the mountains is a source of water supply in our areas that we use not only for drinking but also for other household purposes. In certain areas, it accounts for more than 90 % of the water supply. Snow water equivalent is the amount of water we would obtain by melting a column of snow. Snow water equivalent calculator helps to estimate the volume of water that would be produced after melting a glacier or mountain.

A snow to water calculator is a tool used to determine the amount of water contained within a snowpack. SWE is typically measured in units of depth (inches or millimeters) and is used to estimate the potential water yield from a snowpack. It is an important metric for water resource management, particularly in regions where snowmelt is a significant source of water.

What is Snow Water Equivalent?

Snow water equivalent is the amount of water available in a snowpack. It is the product of the density of the snow core and the depth of the snow core. Snow is a form of precipitation but the thing that makes it unique and difficult to work with is its response time from when it accumulates to when it produces runoff and groundwater recharge that is why we need a long time step in water balance analysis.

The density of snow depends on temperature and pressure. It has a different value for different types of snow. The density of snow is different than liquid water because crystalline water (snow and ice) is interspersed with air.

Importance of SWE

SWE is important because it is a good indicator of how much water will be available when the snow melts. This is especially important in areas where snowmelt is the primary source of water for rivers and streams. The SWE can also be used to estimate the amount of water that will be available for irrigation and other purposes.

There are several methods for measuring SWE, but the most common is the weighing method. This involves weighing a sample of snow, melting it, and then weighing the resulting water. The difference between the two weights is the SWE.

Snow water equivalent value depends on various factors

  • Type of snow and the density of the snow.
  • The length of time for which the snow is been in place.
  • The temperature of the air.
  • The number of contaminants and impurities present in the snow.

Calculation of Snow Water Equivalent

Snow water equivalent of a certain area can be calculated by following the simple steps

  • Measure the length, width, and depth of the snowpack.
  • Calculate the volume of the snowpack by multiplying the above values.
  • Select the density of the snow from literature depending on the type of snow.
  • Calculate the snow water equivalent by multiplying volume and density.

Snow water equivalent formula

SWE = Volume of snow x density of snow

Old Rule of Thumb

James church began stated in his work that 10 inches of snow are equal to one inch of water.

Following is the example to calculate the snow water equivalent for a given snowpack.

Example # 1

Calculate the snow water equivalent value of fresh snow whose area is 56 inches and depth is 40 inches. The density of fresh snow is 5 %.


SWE = Volume x density
Volume = area x depth
Volume = 56 x 40
Volume = 2240
SWE = 2240 x 0.05
SWE = 112 inches

Answer; the snow water equivalent value for the given snowpack is 112 inches.

Water volume can be estimated manually using the conversion formula or you can just use our snow water equivalent calculator to get an accurate value of SWE in gallons or any desired unit of volume. Simply put the given data in the calculator and you will get the value of SWE.

Snow water equivalent chart

The snow water equivalent chart for snow to water conversion is:

Date SWE (inches)
January 1 5
January 5 6
January 10 8
January 15 10
January 20 12

How to find ice and water calculator?

There are two ways through which you can find this ice to water volume calculator. These ways are:

  1. You can search water equivalent calculator in the search bar and click on our calculator from Google results.
  2. You can directly open this online calculators website and use snow melt calculator from here.

How to use snow melting calculator?

It is simple and easy to use this snow water equivalent calculator . Follow below steps:

  1. Select what you want to calculate from (Length, Area and Volume)
  2. Enter the value of length
  3. Enter the value of Width
  4. Enter the value of Depth
  5. Select Snow type
  6. Click on "calculate" button.

Just as you click on this button, snow to water calculator instantly show you accurate results.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is ice to water volume calculator accurate?

Yes, snow melting calculator is accurate and provide correct results when you use it.

Is snow water equivalent formula calculator reliable?

This online snow to water conversion tool is tested by top professionals. It is reliable and efficient and provide instant results.

Alan Walker

Alan Walker

Last Updated June 02, 2022

Studies mathematics sciences, and Technology. Tech geek and a content writer. Wikipedia addict who wants to know everything. Loves traveling, nature, reading. Math and Technology have done their part, and now it's the time for us to get benefits.