« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Daryl Ritchison, WDAY, Published November 16 2012

Weather Talk: Snow measurements can differ due to technique

Measuring snow can often be more art than science. On occasion the snow falls straight down and most of the reports in a small area are approximately the same. There are always going to be natural variations as more snow falls here and less there.

But many times the snow measurements differ because of technique, especially when the wind blows. Oftentimes, we will receive snow totals that may vary by several inches just within Fargo-Moorhead. When the wind blows, it tends to blow the snow off your roof and deposit it near your house, so a 2-inch event often gets measured as 4 inches of snow, especially if the report comes from the backyard deck.

Although the official measurement could be considered an educated guess at times, our official observer, through careful observation and years of experience, usually gives a very good estimate to our snowfall, even for the windiest of events. Sometimes, that total can easily be quite different than what you find on your driveway.

Have a weather question you’d like answered? Email weather@wday.com,

or write to WDAY Stormtracker, WDAY-TV,

Box 2466, Fargo, ND 58108 Read the blog at http://stormtrack.areavoices.com/.