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Weather Talk: Correctly measure precipitation

Measuring snow can often be more art than science. On occasion, the snow falls straight down, and most local reports are approximately the same. Oftentimes we will receive snow reports from viewers that might vary by several inches just within Fa...

Measuring snow can often be more art than science.

On occasion, the snow falls straight down, and most local reports are approximately the same. Oftentimes we will receive snow reports from viewers that might vary by several inches just within Fargo-Moorhead, and some of these differences are because of varying measurement techniques.

When the wind blows, it tends to blow the snow off your roof and deposit it near your house, so a two-inch snow often gets measured as four inches of snow, especially if the report comes from a backyard deck.

Although the official measurement could be considered an educated guess at times, our official observer in the north part of Moorhead uses a remarkably consistent and careful technique developed through years of experience.  This careful measurement is important because it provides a consistent record of snow over the years since the National Weather Service was moved to Grand Forks in 1995.  

 

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