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How to accurately measure snow

The ABC 17 Stormtrack Weather Team relies on accurate measurements during the winter months to track and update the public on how much snow has fallen across mid-Missouri. RADAR can give us a general idea of snow accumulation, but many times we depend on the general public to keep us up to date on the latest snowfall totals.

It may seem simple, but there actually is a right and a wrong way to measure snow. However, it’s not hard to get an accurate measurement with a few simple tips.

First, it’s important to find a flat and open surface, avoiding trees and buildings that may have blocked any snowfall.

Typically, snow doesn’t fall in one even and consistent layer. On top of that, breezy conditions can create drifts, which would make for an inaccurate measurement if you only measured one spot. This is why it is important to take several measurements at various locations in the yard. Round measurements to one tenth of an inch. Add each observation together and take the average, giving you the final and accurate snowfall depth.

During Blizzard conditions accuracy can be even more difficult, but follow the same guidelines. Take separate note of high drift depths as that can be helpful for meteorologists in regards to blowing and drifting patterns.

The ABC 17 Stormtrack Weather Team always welcomes updated snowfall reports. During any snow event please keep us updated by emailing or contacting us on Twitter and Facebook.

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