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How to measure snowfall, report to National Weather Service

Bruce Gronich, of Plainview, uses an official "snow

Bruce Gronich, of Plainview, uses an official "snow stick" to measure the recent snowfall in his backyard on Dec. 21, 2009. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Weather watchers can help be the eyes of the National Weather Service during Thursday’s huge storm on Long Island — and the information gathered can aid future forecasts.

“Your snowfall report helps us verify forecasts and warnings,” according to Weather Service officials. “Reports are archived for use in scientific research which can lead to more accurate forecasts in the future.”

Snowfall amounts can vary over a small area, so the more information that can be recorded, the better, officials say.

How to measure:

  • Find a flat, open area away from trees and buildings.
  • Using a ruler or yardstick, take several measurements and average them.
  • Report your average snowfall total to the nearest 10th of an inch.
  • Make sure to include your location and the time of the measurement.

How to send your report to the National Weather Service:

  • Social media: Post a report on the weather service’s Facebook page (NWSNewYorkNY) or tweet a report to the service (@NWSNewYorkNY). Sending a related picture is encouraged.
  • If you’re a SKYWARN Spotter: Call the 800-number on your spotter card, or share with the weather service via social media. Make sure to identify yourself as a spotter.

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