Congratulations! You have decided to measure snow! Measuring snow requires the simplest of instruments: a ruler and a flat board.† The rulers and boards have been given to you so all you need is snow!
How to site your snowboard.† There are few tricks to measure snow. First, find a good place for your board. At the same time, find a place thatís convenient for you to walk to when it is snowing and ten below zero. Somewhere along an existing path to a shed or your rain gauge might do the trick.† You may have to shovel out a path to your snowboard so along a path you have to clear anyway is a good idea. Remember when clearing the path you throw the snow on the opposite side your board is on! Place your board about an armís length off the path so you can reach it easily.† The best place for your snowboard is in an area where you have a 45-degree angle view of the sky all around you. If this is not possible, try to get as clear as an opening above the board as possible. Another caution here. You donít want to place your board in an open field that regularly gets scraped clean of snow during high winds. Having some trees or a house as a buffer somewhat in the vicinity of the board may be helpful. Place a blue flag where your board will be before the ground freezes. A covered snowboard may be slippery so be careful!
It snowed! The morning dawns on a fresh blanket of snow. Take your ruler and simply measure the snow on the board to the nearest tenth. Donít use English units like a ľ (quarter) inch. It is either .2 or .3 inches. Write down the amount of snow in the middle column on the green form. Even itsy bitsy amounts of snow are important to us! Measure two or three times on the board and take the average of the measurements. Then clean the snow off or flip the board over.† Donít scrape the board with the metal ruler.† The ruler will damage the snowboard.
But what about snow depth?† Weíve measured snowfall, now letís measure the snow depth. This can be a little tricky sometimes. You can use a junk piece of wood to lay stationary on the ground all winter. A white board is best. If you do this, mark it with another blue flag so you can find the board under the several feet of snow on the ground.† You can now measure the snow depth with the large ruler. Try to find a place that is representative of how much snow you get. Not where the snow drifts and not where it gets blown clear. If you do not have a board, you can just measure in three different places in your yard and take an average. Be careful that you are not measuring the air pocket that is under the snow caused by the grass. Mark the snow depth on the third column on the green sheet.†
Measuring snow is fun! You have just done something that thousands of dollars in meteorological equipment canít doÖ Measure snow! This is why it is so important to have volunteers to record the snowfall and snow depth.† Thank you for volunteering to be a part of Snow Rules! Now, bring on the snow!