The continental regions of China are extensively covered by snow during winter. In this paper, the seasonal snow cover in the Tien Shan and Altay mountains is observed and analyzed, based on the characteristics of the dry-cold snow cover accumulating under the continental climatic conditions in northwest China. Compared with the humid-warm snow cover, the dry-cold snow cover is characterized mainly by small density, low water content, large temperature gradient, thick depth hoar, etc., and its metamorphism is dominated by the thermal exchange and the pressure of the overlying snow layers. According to the observed data, the solar radiation flux on the snow surface is dominated by a negative balance in the arid areas in China during the snow season; the albedo on the new-fallen-snow surface is up to 96%, and the transmission depth of shortwave radiation in dry-cold snow cover is 28 cm. During the snowmelt season in spring, the thickness of the depth hoar can occupy 80% of the whole snow cover.