Snowboard (meteorology)

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A National Weather Service snowboard and snow measuring stick.

A snowboard is a meteorological tool used to aid in the obtaining of accurate measurement of snow accumulation.


Snowboards are typically flat pieces of plywood painted a light color (most commonly white), around 16 to 24 in (41 to 61 cm) in length and width and around 0.5 to 0.75 in (13 to 19 mm) thick.[1][2][3][4]

Reasons for use[edit]

Measuring snow in grass the grass blades will produce inflated snow totals, whereas with a snowboard this effect is absent.[3] The light or white color of a snowboard serves to minimize heating by sunlight, which often occurs on paved surfaces.[4] These qualities make snowfall measurement using a snowboard more accurate than measurements without one.[2][3][4]


Snowboards should be placed at ground level at a distance away from a building of at least two times the height of that building.[1] When measuring snowfall on a snowboard, the snowfall is measured to the nearest 0.1 inches (2.5 mm).[1] The snow may be measured as often as necessary during a 6-hour period in order record the greatest depth on the board, since snow may both accumulate and melt during the same 6-hour period.[4] All snow is cleaned off of the snowboard once every 6 hours.[3][4] At the end of the snow event, the maximum depth recorded on the snowboard during each 6-hour period are summed to provide the storm total; the same measurements during a single day are summed to produce the daily snowfall total.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Things to know about snow". Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, & Snow Network. Retrieved 2011-01-08. 
  2. ^ a b National Weather Service (2009-06-25). "Snowboard". Glossary. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2011-01-08. 
  3. ^ a b c d National Weather Service Jackson, Kentucky (2010-11-21). "Measuring snowfall". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2011-01-08. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f National Weather Service Forecast Office Wakefield, Virginia (2008-11-10). "Snow Measurement Guidelines for National Weather Service Snow Spotters". Retrieved 2011-01-08.