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Helpful Hints For Measuring Snow


Stratos Ferric

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Posted
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL

    Now I'm quite sure that most people know how to do it properly, just like they know to use indicators when turning and fog lamps only when it's foggy (even though many people I pass - often in Vauxhall Novas - have particularly well evolved sight over and above moine which allows them to see fog long before it has formed), but a few handy hints for those people who haven't had to do it for a long time...

    1 - Use an inflexible ruler, preferably one that has proper calibration, i.e. cms that are 10 SI mm apart, not one of those home made ones with the marks 2 mm apart, or some Christmas cracker junk toy measuring tape with chinese mm (well known that Chinese mm are only ablout 50% a UK mm).

    2 - Make sure that the first 3cm is not missing from the ruler, so that when you measure 6cm it's actually only 3cm.

    3 - Don't confuse inches and cms, e.g. measure 6 cms but report 6": you'd be amazed, really you would...

    4 - Measure on a hard level surface, like a stone flag. If you measure on the grass try not to press the ruler into the earth too hard, you might snap it, quite apart from adding an erroneous 6cm onto your depth.

    5 - Measure vertically down through the snow, preferably on a level surface, not at, say, 45 degrees, pretty though the effect might be.

    6 - Don't measure ALONG the top of the snow. We want depth NOT width!

    7 - Avoid drifts. These usually look like arranged piles of snow that are usually fairly obviously a lot deeper than the even 2mm lying everywhere else in your garden.

    8 - Don't do what they do in Courchevel 1850 and locate your permanent snow depth gauge in a large hollow - unless snow depth REALLY matters to you.

    If you don't have a ruler, a few useful guides...

    A finger to the first knuckle must be at least 4", and far longer if you live near Osborne.

    A second knuckle is indisputably a foot of level snow, even before you push your fingers into the ground.

    It is easy to confuse ankle deep and knee deep, don't worry.

    If in doubt, just guess, or make it up...and if you're desperate for an entry in the snow league just post up a message saying how mcuh snow you should have had / might have if only you lived 500m higher up, and in Norway.

    I can't find the WRYSMILEWHATEVER HAPPENEDTOSIUNITSCIENTIFICMEASUREMENTSmiley

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    Posted
  • Location: St. Albans, Herts
  • Location: St. Albans, Herts

    9. You must have snow to attempt this in the first place.....measuring the depth of salt thrown out in anticipation of a BIG freeze does not count!

    Thanks SF....I think I understand what to do....and I have taken note of the fact that you have not mentioned a 'maybe' or 'possibly' anywhere in your post, and so will hold you 100% responsible (i.e. call for the removal of your posting rights, your salary, your first grandchild, etc) should this method not work! ;)

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    Posted
  • Location: Watford
  • Location: Watford

    I read in a book a while ago that measuring snow on the grass can overstimate it by up to a factor of two so I put a white board out in the garden and measure any snow on that. ;)

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    Posted
  • Location: Wotton-under-Edge, Glocs (99m asl)
  • Location: Wotton-under-Edge, Glocs (99m asl)

    you're just worried that an over enthusiastic southerner will out do you stratos! the easterly belongs to us i tells ya!!!!!!!

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    Posted
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
    I read in a book a while ago that measuring snow on the grass can overstimate it by up to a factor of two so I put a white board out in the garden and measure any snow on that. ;)

    <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

    PK - if you're really careful and let your grass grow in autumn then I'd say your source is an "at least". If you grow a nice tight thick lawn you could easily fid yourself starting from 12" as soon as you have, what for anyone else at least would be, a dusting.

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    Posted
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
    you're just worried that an over enthusiastic southerner will out do you stratos! the easterly belongs to us i tells ya!!!!!!!

    <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

    Listen, I'm OK because I live near Queensbury, even if not quite so far into the rarefied air. Even the BBC sent their snow correspondent there last night - I always say it: it always snows in Queensbury!

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    Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts
  • Weather Preferences: Rain/snow, fog, gales and cold in every season
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District 290 mts. Wind speed 340 mts
    6 - Don't measure ALONG the top of the snow.  We want depth NOT width!

    <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

    An excellent post Stratos, I was particularly impressed with the quote above.

    T.M

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    Posted
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
    An excellent post Stratos, I was particularly impressed with the quote above.

    T.M

    <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

    Well, to be honest it was inspired by KT mentioning this morning that she had measured the snow down her way with her new measuring tape (I do hope that IT hadn't fallen out of a cracker...)

    If it stays cold we might end up with a week's lying snow, particularly if we get a bit early next week. Long time since that happened, even up high.

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    Posted
  • Location: Newton Aycliffe, County Durham
  • Location: Newton Aycliffe, County Durham
    Now I'm quite sure that most people know how to do it properly, just like they know to use indicators when turning and fog lamps only when it's foggy (even though many people I pass - often in Vauxhall Novas - have particularly well evolved sight over and above moine which allows them to see fog long before it has formed), but a few handy hints for those people who haven't had to do it for a long time...

    1 - Use an inflexible ruler, preferably one that has proper calibration, i.e. cms that are 10 SI mm apart, not one of those home made ones with the marks 2 mm apart, or some Christmas cracker junk toy measuring tape with chinese mm (well known that Chinese mm are only ablout 50% a UK mm).

    2 - Make sure that the first 3cm is not missing from the ruler, so that when you measure 6cm it's actually only 3cm.

    3 - Don't confuse inches and cms, e.g. measure 6 cms but report 6": you'd be amazed, really you would...

    4 - Measure on a hard level surface, like a stone flag.  If you measure on the grass try not to press the ruler into the earth too hard, you might snap it, quite apart from adding an erroneous 6cm onto your depth.

    5 - Measure vertically down through the snow, preferably on a level surface, not at, say, 45 degrees, pretty though the effect might be.

    6 - Don't measure ALONG the top of the snow.  We want depth NOT width!

    7 - Avoid drifts.  These usually look like arranged piles of snow that are usually fairly obviously a lot deeper than the even 2mm lying everywhere else in your garden.

    8 - Don't do what they do in Courchevel 1850 and locate your permanent snow depth gauge in a large hollow - unless snow depth REALLY matters to you.

    If you don't have a ruler, a few useful guides...

    A finger to the first knuckle must be at least 4", and far longer if you live near Osborne.

    A second knuckle is indisputably a foot of level snow, even before you push your fingers into the ground.

    It is easy to confuse ankle deep and knee deep, don't worry.

    If in doubt, just guess, or make it up...and if you're desperate for an entry in the snow league just post up a message saying how mcuh snow you should have had / might have if only you lived 500m higher up, and in Norway.

    I can't find the WRYSMILEWHATEVER HAPPENEDTOSIUNITSCIENTIFICMEASUREMENTSmiley

    <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

    Something tells me that Stratos is less than impressed by some of the measurements reported in the last week. An excellent post though with some good points. I have another tip to add.....

    9 Finding what is quite obviously the deepest part of snow in your garden which sits on 6 inches of grass and taking just the one measurement is not representative.

    Even what appears to be perfectly level snow, be it over concrete, grass or any surface DOES vary in depth by a centimatre or two, sometimes more. Ideally you should pick THREE points and measure each one.

    If you want as much snow as possible, of if you live in the South, or if you are under 16, you should take the deepest measurement out of the three, and add 2-5cm on. Somebody reported 14cm from a town in the South East using this popular method.

    If you live from the Midlands Northwards, you truthfully take your 3 measurements, and AVERAGE them out.....the deepest measurement isn't your actual snow cover, the average of three is. Thats how you derive your snow depth.

    On another note, while preferable to take your three measurements on a hard surface, sometimes that isn't possible for various reasons. An experienced observer who runs a climat station informs me that is is perfectly acceptable to take your measurements over short grass.

    However because we are very picky around here, if you do measure over short grass, your depth (average of three) should be stated as depth over grass, in the interests of fairness. :)

    To measure fresh snow accumulations on top of lying snow, lay a white board on the surface of the snow. Then at 9am or whatever time is best, measure the depth of fresh snow on the board, brush off, and re-lay the board. Alternatively, you can simply melt the snow from your rain gauge, and convert the mm water into snowfall depth. Really sad people, like me, do both and then average ;)

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    Posted
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
    If you want as much snow as possible, of if you live in the South, or if you are under 16, you should take the deepest measurement out of the three, and add 2-5cm on. Somebody reported 14cm from a town in the South East using this popular method.

    Excellent method there TP. I should add to your helpful hint for snow starved southerners that another good option is to wait until all the snow has slipped off your Toyota Avensis, in that blanket-tugged-off-bed-into-a-heap sort of a way, and then take a measurement, but quick before it all melts.

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    Posted
  • Location: sittingbourne kent
  • Location: sittingbourne kent
    Now I'm quite sure that most people know how to do it properly, just like they know to use indicators when turning and fog lamps only when it's foggy (even though many people I pass - often in Vauxhall Novas - have particularly well evolved sight over and above moine which allows them to see fog long before it has formed), but a few handy hints for those people who haven't had to do it for a long time...

    1 - Use an inflexible ruler, preferably one that has proper calibration, i.e. cms that are 10 SI mm apart, not one of those home made ones with the marks 2 mm apart, or some Christmas cracker junk toy measuring tape with chinese mm (well known that Chinese mm are only ablout 50% a UK mm).

    2 - Make sure that the first 3cm is not missing from the ruler, so that when you measure 6cm it's actually only 3cm.

    3 - Don't confuse inches and cms, e.g. measure 6 cms but report 6": you'd be amazed, really you would...

    4 - Measure on a hard level surface, like a stone flag.  If you measure on the grass try not to press the ruler into the earth too hard, you might snap it, quite apart from adding an erroneous 6cm onto your depth.

    5 - Measure vertically down through the snow, preferably on a level surface, not at, say, 45 degrees, pretty though the effect might be.

    6 - Don't measure ALONG the top of the snow.  We want depth NOT width!

    7 - Avoid drifts.  These usually look like arranged piles of snow that are usually fairly obviously a lot deeper than the even 2mm lying everywhere else in your garden.

    8 - Don't do what they do in Courchevel 1850 and locate your permanent snow depth gauge in a large hollow - unless snow depth REALLY matters to you.

    If you don't have a ruler, a few useful guides...

    A finger to the first knuckle must be at least 4", and far longer if you live near Osborne.

    A second knuckle is indisputably a foot of level snow, even before you push your fingers into the ground.

    It is easy to confuse ankle deep and knee deep, don't worry.

    If in doubt, just guess, or make it up...and if you're desperate for an entry in the snow league just post up a message saying how mcuh snow you should have had / might have if only you lived 500m higher up, and in Norway.

    I can't find the WRYSMILEWHATEVER HAPPENEDTOSIUNITSCIENTIFICMEASUREMENTSmiley

    <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

    i was actually crying with laughter when i read this and even the kids laughed.dont know if it was funnier cos i was tipsy or what.i printed it off. probably get a telling off now cos im not talking about the topic lmao

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    Posted
  • Location: Watford
  • Location: Watford
    PK - if you're really careful and let your grass grow in autumn then I'd say your source is an "at least".

    Sounds about right, it is a long time since I read it. :(

    Does anyone know what I can buy a micrometer so I can measure recent snowfall.

    lol

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    LOl great thread very amusing!

    <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

    I've only just seen it - the penalty for being away most of the week. Great and hilarious post Stratos. And you didn't even mention the North Yorkshire Moors 'thigh deep' measurement of a week ago - how restrained! Great stuff.

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    Posted
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
    I've only just seen it - the penalty for being away most of the week. Great and hilarious post Stratos. And you didn't even mention the North Yorkshire Moors 'thigh deep' measurement of a week ago - how restrained! Great stuff.

    <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

    I have seen official reports of 30+cm in Co. Durham / Teesdale, and I hear of impressive phots of drifts, or probably just photos of impressive drifts, taken up on on the NY Moors, over on TWO, so if you happened to put your foot down a rabbit hole thigh deep becomes feasible, particularly if you're very short in the leg department.

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    Guest Sir Seany
    So if you happened to put your foot down a rabbit hole thigh deep becomes feasible, particularly if you're very short in the leg department.

    <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

    You mean if your a hobbit?

    Shropshire Blizzard on this Forum metioned 4ft drifts on the Long Mynd in Shropshire, it sure looked like it could hyave been a possibility when i was up there earlier, at its deepest up there it was 5-6 inches!

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    • 8 months later...
    Posted
  • Location: Shrewsbury
  • Location: Shrewsbury
    You mean if your a hobbit?

    Shropshire Blizzard on this Forum metioned 4ft drifts on the Long Mynd in Shropshire, it sure looked like it could hyave been a possibility when i was up there earlier, at its deepest up there it was 5-6 inches!

    Funny, driving home today that green stuff I saw on the Long Mynd must have been snow then :D

    A nice covering of frost in Shrewsbury right now, ruler not needed :D

    Last Feb the deepest it got here was 1cm.

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    • 1 month later...
    Posted
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL

    Reading this morning's reports from the environs of the big smoke I have been struck by a new phenomenon: the speculative centimetre or five. This is certainly one to watch for. Let's be clear, if you can't be bothered to get up and take a measurement then it's fine to speculate, however, if you do so always err on the side of caution. A rough rule of thumb is...

    1 - Look at what you think might be there.

    2 - Throw that assessment away and replace it with a number 4.

    3 - Double it.

    4 - Multiply by 2.5 to convert from inches.

    5 - Round up to the nearest 25.

    6 - Divide by 5.

    7 - And the result is your birthday...

    It's that easy. By the way, if you live in London, we all know that any dusting, howver light, is worth at least 5cm.

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    Posted
  • Location: .
  • Location: .

    Morning Stratos. I've been up nice and early in the big smoke this morning. Travelled from Wandsworth to Clapham to Waterloo, then surfaced at Paddington and ...

    ... not the faintest sign of snow. Well the rain might have had the vaguest notion of a sort of hint of off-white but I personally blame that on the pollution.

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    Posted
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
    Morning Stratos. I've been up nice and early in the big smoke this morning. Travelled from Wandsworth to Clapham to Waterloo, then surfaced at Paddington and ...

    ... not the faintest sign of snow. Well the rain might have had the vaguest notion of a sort of hint of off-white but I personally blame that on the pollution.

    WiB, that's 5cm then! lol

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    • 11 months later...
    Posted
  • Location: Newton Aycliffe, County Durham
  • Location: Newton Aycliffe, County Durham

    Stratos, bearing the recent trend for, well, no snow, and the likelyhood that when we do get a cold snap it will probably produce, er, not much snow, I'd like to propose a few changes to the snow measurement guides, and to simplify them somewhat...

    Here are my new proposed snow measurement rules for your perusal, and hopefully, approval...

    1 Sell your yardstick on E-bay to a bloke from Greece, Spain or Australia, as he will have more use for it and you'll get a better price.

    2 Buy a 12inch/30cm steel rule.

    3 When we eventually get a REALLY heavy snowfall (say 3cm), push the steel rule into the snow firmly, but upside down. This will give a reading of 27cm.

    The above 3 rules only apply to those residing in a line from North Wales to the Humber Northwards.

    For those residing South of this dividing line, it is unlikely that you will ever get more than a random, patchy dusting, unless you are under one of those Thames snow streamers that will definitely drop a foot this time, honest.... so rule 4 has been devised for your special circumstances.....

    4 Make it up.

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    Posted
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral
  • Weather Preferences: Summer: warm, humid, thundery. Winter: mild, stormy, some snow.
  • Location: Heswall, Wirral

    Cynically speaking, in 2007 always take your measurement at 0cm.

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    • 1 month later...
    Posted
  • Location: Newton Aycliffe, County Durham
  • Location: Newton Aycliffe, County Durham

    I would like to suggest the measurements of "Kentimetres" for measuring snow, given the pathetic dustings of snow for some of us, so far this winter.

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    • 9 months later...
    Posted
  • Location: Lancaster and East Devon
  • Location: Lancaster and East Devon

    i have to say this thread gave me a laugh!

    so i think i may have just seen the odd smallest snow grain today.

    so using the new rules i have to report 30cm of lying snow even in the house :lol: :D:D

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