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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published June 27 2012

Weather Talk: Measuring snowfall remains challenging

An article by Roy Rasmussen of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (and others) in the June 2012 issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society goes into great detail about a topic that has bothered most meteorologists for many years: We do not measure snowfall very well.

The measurement of precipitation seems like it should be simple, and measuring rain is not that hard.

But snow presents many problems. Wind turbulence around a snow gauge causes irregularities. Melting snow can cause other issues. Furthermore, today’s automatic snow gauges have numerous problems because there are just so many nuances of snow measurement that are hard to account for with a machine.

The article goes into detail about new improvements to snow measuring systems. Unfortunately, the study also shows the enhancements have only slightly improved snow measurement.


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