The International Classification for Seasonal Snow on the Ground (ICSSG)

The revised International Classification for Seasonal Snow on the Ground has been published 2009 by the International Hydrological Programme of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO-IHP), Paris, in the series of IHP Technical Documents in Hydrology: IACS Contribution.

Original Publication :

The International Classification for Seasonal Snow on the Ground.
(Higher resolution pdf: 7.6 MB) (Lower resolution pdf: 3.4 MB)
Includes a multi-lingual list of terms in French, Spanish, Russian, and German.
NOTE: Photo #05 has been replaced with the correct one in the high resolution version.

Full length translations :

Russian (pdf: 3.2 MB)
Italian (available from AINEVA)
Persian (in process)

Web resources :

NGI (Norway)
IACS gratefully acknowledges the set of web-usable snow symbols that our Norwegian colleagues provided.

Type face files :


SnowSymbolsIACS_docu.pdf (81 kb)

Adobe Type 1:

SnowSymbolsIACS.afm (7 kb)
SnowSymbolsIACS.pfb (18 kb)
SnowSymbolsIACS.pfm (1 kb)


SnowSymbolsIACS.ttf (39 kb)


SnowSymbolsIACS.otf (11 kb)

Type face copyright

22 September 2008, International Association of Cryospheric Sciences IACS,
Version 1.030.


Zürcher Hochschule der Künste ZHdK
Stefan Huber, Signalwerk (sh(at)

IACS – CAAML int’l Snow Profile Exchange Format :

IACS worked with a group of developers to come up with an international exchange format for snow profile based on the open source Canadian Avalanche Association Markup Language CAAML. For detailed info please visit CAAML V6.0 Profile – Snow Profile IACS.

Observational Guidelines :

Canada : Observation Guidelines and Recording Standards (OGRS)
USA : Snow, Weather, and Avalanches: Observational Guidelines for Avalanche Programs in the United States (SWAG)
New Zealand : New Zealand Guidelines for Weather Snow and Avalanche Observations (MSC)