Nipher snow gauge: weather instruments tour
Snowfall is measured in several different ways.
The nipher snow gauge is used to capture snow and measure its water content in millimetres. It's much bigger than either the standard rain gauge or the tipping bucket. The nipher snow gauge is mounted on a sliding metal pipe so that, as snow accumulates over the winter, the whole gauge can be raised to keep the top edge 5 feet above the surface of the snow. Why? So that snow from the ground doesn't drift into the gauge and give us false readings!
Weather observers track 2 other types of snowfall measurements: the amount of newly fallen snow and the total depth of all the snow on the ground. Both are measured in centimetres the old-fashioned way, with a metre-stick. To find out how snow is measured at an automatic station, follow this link.
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