How to accurately measure snowfall

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

One method of measurement involves preparation. You can use a small plank of wood and place it outside, away from buildings and areas where there are usually snowdrifts. If you’re expecting a lot of snow, place something in the ground that indicates where the board is.

A substitute for a small plank of wood could be a picnic table or patio area away from home. With this strategy, you can measure up to 4 times in 24 hours. Record each new measurement, then clear the table. Once the snow is over, add up all of your measurements.

This can make them more precise by avoiding melting or increased compaction of snow. Snow depth (all snow on the ground) can be calculated if you have a separate plank of wood that is not cleaned up after each measurement and left for days or even weeks or months.

The most common method used to measure snowfall is to simply drive the ruler directly into the ground after the storm. If you are going to do this, try to avoid the weed that sometimes swells the measurements.

Pick 5 nearby readings on sidewalks or harder surfaces, then average 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 amount of snow, so that we can report on our emissions.


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