Spencer, M.

Snow Survey of Great Britain: transcribed data for Scotland, 1945 to 2007

This dataset comprises observations of snowline from the Snow Survey of Great Britain (SSGB) at 140 sites across Scotland . Daily observations were made between 1945 and 2007. Observations were made by a ground observer who looked out from a given location at 0900 GMT each day and noted the elevation at which snow cover was greater than 50%.

The initial aim was to 'secure representative data relating to the occurrence of snow cover at different altitudes in the various upland districts over the period October to June'.

The data were collated by the British Glaciological Society until 1954 and thereafter by the Met Office. It has been transcribed from paper records held in the Met Office archives in Edinburgh.

Publication date: 2016-10-19

Get the data

This dataset is made available under the terms of the Open Government Licence

Format of the data: text (pipe delimited)

You must cite: Spencer, M. (2016). Snow Survey of Great Britain: transcribed data for Scotland, 1945 to 2007. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre. https://doi.org/10.5285/caf989a5-82d7-4db7-b6ff-c0475fdae07e



Study area
Temporal extent
1945-01-01    to    2007-12-31

Provenance & quality

The SSGB is a voluntary observer collected dataset. The SSGB observers looked out on the hills that surrounded their location and noted at what level snow was lying. Elevations were grouped into 150 m bands from 0 to 1200 m ASL or 500 feet increments earlier in the record, with most stations supplying metric returns by the early 1980s. The observers were asked (taken from January 1992 instructions) to record at 09:00 GMT or thereabouts when snow or sleet was falling at station level and if snow was lying at station level, with depth. Finally they were asked to record when fog or cloud obscured observation.

Paper copy Scottish data, between Autumn 1945 and Summer 2007, are stored in the Met Office archives in Edinburgh. These paper copies were transcribed to an electronic format and comprise this dataset.

Some data are missing as not all stations operated in all years.

Some data are also missing due to observers being away or weather obscuring the view.

Correspondence/contact details

Michael Spencer
University of Edinburgh


Spencer, M.
University of Edinburgh

Other contacts

NERC EDS Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre

Additional metadata

Topic categories
Climatology / Meteorology / Atmosphere
Snow Survey of Great Britain,  SSGB
Atmospheric Conditions
Spatial representation type
Tabular (text)
Spatial reference system
OSGB 1936 / British National Grid
Last updated
20 May 2022 10:39