Author Topic: Snow depth on the ground, vs. 'how much snow did you get?'  (Read 219 times)

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Offline DaleReid

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Snow depth on the ground, vs. 'how much snow did you get?'
« on: April 13, 2020, 11:25:11 AM »
Having the wonderful Easter Sunday storm start out with my ground clear and dry, and ending up sometime after midnight with a bunch of wet, widow-making snow, I dutifully went out to measure the depth in several areas to come up with a reading to report.  Part of the ground which had received a lot of sun had melted down, with still a few bare spots, and much of the yard with a couple inches of slush created by melting from below and big wet snow from above.

Clearly warm ground had altered the actual number of inches that fell to a lessor number which, correctly, is snow depth on the ground. 

A nearby flat bird bath which was below freezing the whole time measured a wee bit over 11" of snow on it, even with settling.

To me, I 'got' 11" of new snowfall, but the ground level being at 0.0" to start with, would have also represented the amount of snow fall, IF the melting had not occurred. 

A snow board is supposed to be cleaned off after each snowfall and measurement.  If there isn't liquid precip on it, and there is no melting from ground heat, it will be the measure of the amount of fallen snow.

What figure does one record when a melting condition occurs?  The bird bath was, to me, a natural indicator of the snowfall, since I didn't see any pesky squirrels carrying more snow over to heap on to it during the storm.  I guess a liquid measure would reflect the density of the snow, but not take into account how much actually fell.

Anyone know what the NWS or others such as mountain snowfall researchers and all do with this minor point?

Dale
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Offline ValentineWeather

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Re: Snow depth on the ground, vs. 'how much snow did you get?'
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2020, 12:05:39 PM »
If the ground is warm and not frozen ideally you want to measure the depth on a snowboard as soon as possible or even better while it's still falling several times during the event because you have settling and melting occurring. 

Not always possible so using an elevated surface like picnic table may be the most accurate as to what actually fell when the ground is very warm.
 
Now dead of winter when the ground is solidly frozen this isn't as big an issue but you still get settling so catching the snowfall at the peak height is the goal so measuring often doesn't hurt.   


Randy

Offline floodcaster

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Re: Snow depth on the ground, vs. 'how much snow did you get?'
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2020, 01:57:53 PM »
I'd say you're 11.0 would be correct and matches well with other sites.
Bill


Offline DaleReid

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Re: Snow depth on the ground, vs. 'how much snow did you get?'
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2020, 02:00:38 PM »
Thanks for the comments, map and other ideas.  I don't want to be the coldest or hottest, or the most rain based on anything except the best measure I can make.
Dale
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