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How to Accurately Measure Snowfall

January 30, 2013; 10:52 PM

In order to get an accurate snow measurement, measure the depth of the snow. Taking a measurement of snow from the first snowflake or since your last measurement, is the "new snowfall measurement."

Snow depth is known as the measurement of snow that has fallen during previous weather events. Consistency is the main goal of getting an accurate "snow measurement."

Take measurements away from decks, porches or fences and you should not measure snowfall more than four times in 24 hours. You should measure snow to the nearest tenth of an inch and use a snow board. A snow board is just a two foot by two foot piece of plywood. The snow board should be painted white in order to minimize the heat from the sun that could melt the snow. The board should be placed on the ground, then staked so that you can find it easily after snowfall, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. You can also use a yard stick or rain gauge to get snowfall measurements. After you record the data for that specific weather event, wipe the snow from your board so you will be ready for the next snow event.

Photo: NOAA

Your snowfall measurements can also be used by NOAA. If you are a storm spotter, you can call 1-800-856-0758 and provide your training or spend the report e-Spotter. Other weather observers can submit their reports on Twitter and Facebook.

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