« Continue Browsing

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

Daryl Ritchison, WDAY, Published January 03 2013

Weather Talk: Airport data won’t be used to measure liquid in snow

When the National Weather Service moved from Fargo to Grand Forks in the mid-1990s and the official weather observations were transferred to an automated sensor at the airport, there was a problem. The sensor could not measure snowfall.

Therefore, all snowfall data and liquid equivalency of that snow was done by a cooperative observer in north Moorhead. That is, until two years ago when it was decided to use the airport for the liquid in the snow and the actual snow depth from north Moorhead.

Yet, simply put, the airport equipment does a horrible job at determining the liquid in snow, so much so that starting Jan. 1, 2013, the airport data will no longer be used when it snows, which was the old policy.

Unfortunately, the data from 2011 and 2012 does not represent the actual precipitation for this area very well and will probably be adjusted upward. What this means is that instead of 2012 finishing as the 10th-driest year on record, in reality it finished around the 15th driest.


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/.