SNOWPACK is the name of a snowpack and ground surface model for use in a variety of scenarios. It simulates the development of the snowpack during the winter, based on weather data. Snow profiles can be modelled for every location where weather data are available (e.g. in meteorological measuring stations). SNOWPACK describes the snow microstructure and the layering of the snowpack. It illustrates how the snowpack interacts with its surroundings by simulating the key physical processes (mass and energy exchange) that take place between the atmosphere, snow and soil.

Who are the typical users of SNOWPACK?

  • Avalanche warning and safety services
  • Researchers and developers in the following fields: snow, avalanches, permafrost, glaciology, ecology, hydrology, climate, snow sport (e.g. snow farming, piste meteorology), winter road services etc.

Technical requirements and background framework

The model is an integrated software package available under open source and LGPL version 3 or higher (see In order to ease its integration into other models, SNOWPACK is structured as a library (libsnowpack) and an application that uses the library to perform simulations (snowpack). A new software release is issued once or twice a year. More information is found at

Cost / terms of use

Cost: SNOWPACK can be downloaded and used free of charge.

Terms of use:  The terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License, must be observed

Documentation for most recent release:

See SNOWPACK documentation 

Download and further information



Mathias Bavay, SLF

Further information

Snowpack modelling