How do they measure snowfall?

I have also heard, and I do not know if it is true…but I have HEARD that the meteorologists at the news stations use a large, square transparent object called a window. Gosh, I hope I spelled that correctly. Here in Utah, they can even tell that it snowed THE NIGHT BEFORE! Amazingly enough, they use their delicate honing skills to listen for snow plows passing down their street while they get ready for work;)

Ok, so I messed up on the link thing, sue me, I was looking out the window to see if it was dark outside yet :wink:

Please explain how a window can be used to measure snowfall.

You have been served. http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/150/how-do-they-measure-snowfall

Contrapuntal quote: “… Please explain how a window can be used to measure snowfall.”

To Contrapuntal: I think MeliMelMel was making a funny. The joke is that the weather-person looks out the window to see how much snow there is.

MeliMelMel, u should quit all that rapper nonsense and become a stand-up comedian :slight_smile:

This brought to you by the department of redundancy department.

That’s funny. I assume Cecil was referencing the “toilets swirl in the opposite direction in the Southern Hem” myth. Cecil discussed that in one of his columns.

Also, did u know that in the Southern Hemisphere mimes get trapped OUTSIDE of the box?

HA! Not a rapper…just a girl that people call Meli or Mel Mel. And, yes, I meant that they look out the window. Gosh…attack the newbie…It’s ok.

To MeliMelMel:
Its not ur fault that some people are a little slow on the up-take (wink)

There is a famous & very influential rapper called Mele Mel from the early days of hip-hop, way back in the 80’s… (Or maybe he was a scratching DJ, I forget). U prob know that already, but thought I’d share.

Well, last winter, some of my coworkers were threatening to put lines on the ground floor windows if the snow got any deeper, so we could record the depth without going outside… but that was an unusually snowy year, even for Oslo.

OK. Please explain how to measure snow by looking out a window.

You use this process called “comparing to items in the field of view and estimating”. Very complex process. “Look, it’s up to my car handle now!”

Oh, let’s see, how can I put this. Irish put it quite well, I must say. IT IS A JOKE FOR THE LOVE OF PETE. Weathermen NEVER get it right! That was my point. I, without watching the news, can tell if there is an inch of snow on the ground just by looking out my window. If it reaches the bricks around my tree, then I can presume there is probably closer to 2 inches on the ground. If the snow plow is going down my street, then I know that we got around a foot overnight…even if the weatherman said there would be a light dusting of snow overnight. :smack:
If it reaches the handles on my car, then I know that I can call in sick to work and take a snow day! :smiley:

That’s a piss poor method of measuring. It’s more of a guess, really. Not a measurement at all. At least, not one that has any scientific use.

You might want to ask for this thread to be moved. It’s the wrong forum for joke threads.

Nobody ever said that responses to Cecil’s columns had to be serious.

Do the snow depth measurements on your local weather report actually have any scientific use?

Living in a snowy area, I know depth is going to vary quite a bit with location, and all I want is a reasonable estimate. Can I get away with just brushing off the car before driving to work? Will I need to shovel the front steps and the driveway, too? Or will I have to dig out the car before I can even consider brushing it off? But I don’t need to know the exact measurement to figure that out. A forecast of “light”, “moderate”, or “heavy” snowfall covers that pretty darn well.

The question concerned the National weather Service and yes, their measurements have scientific use.

What does a forecast have to do with a measurement of snowfall? You don’t measure snow until after it has fallen. No one is talking about how to measure snow before it has fallen.

precipitation is important for agriculture, water sources (ground and surface) and flooding. when snow melts into liquid it affects all these areas and is a rapid input and is an important part of the forecast about them.