Sensing snow and freezing rain

@veganpops Welcome to the community. What I use is an official cocorahs rain gauge. I take the inner gauge tube and top collector funnel off and the snow collects in the 4 inch tube. Then I take it inside and melt it to pour in the inner measuring tube to get the amount of melted snow.

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We do the same thing here at CoCoRaHS site WA-KG-143. We have 4 SWE (snow water equivalent) snow measuring systems here. We melt the snow and measure the water, another student weighs the other outer cylinder full of snow and then subtracts the weight of the empty cylinder. We then use a formula based on this:
1" of water = 201 grams or,
.01" of water = 2 grams
to determine the amount of water in the snow.
We also use the snow density to back into verification based on:
[SWE] ÷ [Density] = Snow Depth
Density is based on air temperature during snow events we can also test our results using this formula as well. It’s all about experimenting to teach practical science.
We then compare snow measurements at the 3 sites and their SWE to what the Davis heated catchment reports. MADIS Station E7771 {MESONET}
Nice to have a heated rain gauge that turns on when optical sensors report the first snowflakes falling (IFTT app running on a RPi that triggers a WEMO to turn power on to heater inside bucket) then stays on until the tipping bucket has not recorded any precipitation for an hour. (saves power plus just geeky cool).

We recently added a Tempest to our suite of instruments for more data collection and verification and for the lightning detector. Station 34170
So far snow has not accumulated since it was installed a week ago.

Have fun with these devices and please bring in some young people and help them get excited about math and science using weather measurements as a starting block.

STEM Teachers rock!