Another round of fresh snowfall coated the region Monday night (granted, it won't last too long…check out your full forecast by clicking here). As always, I appreciate all the snow reports that came in via Facebook, email, and Twitter! Your reports ARE helpful!
Having said that, it's not uncommon to get some (for lack of better word) *bogus* reports. I'm sure it's not intended, but bad snow reports do happen. And they can be avoided! Let me show you how to take an accurate snow measurement! It doesn't take much work, and your accuracy will be much appreciated!
For starters, you need to make some preparations before taking your super accurate snowfall measurement.
Here are the steps to make your backyard snow report as accurate as possible
1) Start by getting a piece of ply wood from any hardware store. A 4' x 4' ( 16" x 16") will work great. If possible, paint it white. This board will serve as your surface. (Why? The board will act as a solid surface, more accurate than the inflated amounts measured in grass. And its white to avoid extra surface heating which could melt the snow prematurely)
2) Place the board in a wide, open yard space at least 20 to 30 feet away from any buildings or tree covered areas. Ideally, you want an open field space. (*Expert touch*- if you add 4 vertical walls around the board, you will eliminate wind blown reports)
3) Now, let it snow!
4) Once snow has stopped (or mid storm if you want to see how much you have "so far"), GRAB a ruler or yard stick, and head out to your snow board. Plant the stick in straight down into the snow (vertically) and take a measurement!
5) If you didn't create your expert "wind walls", and if it has been particularly windy, you may want to take multiple measurements and get an average total
6) Now send your report to us! You can do this a number of ways… if you're a social media guru, find us on Facebook or Twitter to send your tally (don't forget to tell us your location!). If you'd prefer, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. OR, if you want to pass along a report via phone, call the newsroom at 802-859-1344. Someone will take your report and pass it along to the meteorologist on staff that day! We, then, pass it along to the National Weather Service for their records, as well!
7) If you want to get an accurate snow report for the next snow, make sure you clear off your snow board before the next storm! (*Expert touch*- keep records of each snow reading to get a season snow tally. Also, you can place a 2nd board nearby to keep track of snow depth- this board SHOULDN'T be cleared after each snowfall)
*** If you can't manage all of this, a back up option is to use a picnic table that's settled at least 20 to 30 feet away from your house. Again, an open space is good!***
So that's it!
Again, your snow reports are VERY valuable! They are crucial for keeping up with what's going on across our wide viewing area of northern New York, all of Vermont, and interior New Hampshire. I can't be everywhere, and radar/satellite estimates are, well, just that- ESTIMATES! Your exact reports are so helpful to help verify forecasts during and after a snowstorm. As meteorologists, we will use the snow reports to compare to what computer models suggested pre-storm, and we can then compare this to what actually happened so we can make adjustments to the forecast (if necessary) the next time a storm moves in!