The snow pillow measures the water equivalent of the snow pack based on hydrostatic pressure created by overlying snow. Any discrepancy due to bridging is minimized by the large dimension of the pillow, typically 3 metres (120 in) square.
Another application for snow pillows is to estimate the snow weight on a roof to warn of potential for roof collapse.
Snow pillows were developed in the early 1960s.
Large dimensions (e.g. size 3 × 3m) of the pillow prevent any bridging that might occur from having an effect on the measurement readings. For snow pressure measurement on roofs is the use of a smaller snow pillow (e.g. 1 × 1m) is the better choice, because of the weight of the filling of the snow pillow.
- "Snow pillow - sensor to measure snow water equivalent (SWE)". Sommer Mess-Systemtechnik. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
- R.T. Beaumont, Soil Conservation Service, Portland, Oregon (October 1965). "Mt. Hood Pressure Pillow Snow Gage". American Meteorology Society. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
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