How to measure snowfall accurately

Beyond The Forecast

(WFRV) – Northeast Wisconsin is no stranger to large amounts of snow due to winter storms. We at Local 5, enjoy when viewers send their snowfall reports to us at the station. And as the winter season begins, it’s important to know some proper techniques when measuring snowfall.

One method of measuring involves preparation. You can use a small wooden board and place it outside away from buildings and areas that usually have snow drifting. If you are expecting a lot of snow, place something in the ground that indicated where the board is.

A substitute for a small wooden board could be things like a picnic table, or corner of deck away from the house. With this strategy you can measure up to 4 times in 24 hours. Record each new measurement, and then clear off the board. Once the snow ends, add up all your measurements.

This can make them more accurate by avoiding melting or more snow compaction. Snow depth (all of snow on the ground) can be calculated if you have a separate wooden board that is not cleared off after each measurement and left for days if not weeks or months.

The more commonly used method of measuring snowfall is just sticking the ruler straight into ground after the storm. If you are going to do this, try avoiding the grass which sometimes inflates measurements.

Pick 5 measurements close by on sidewalks or harder surfaces and then average them for the most accurate measurement. Record to the nearest tenth of an inch, and make sure the ruler is perpendicular to the harder surface.

Of course, send us your snowfall measurements on social media with the ruler or yardstick next to the snow amount, so we can feature the report on our shows.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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