Developing techniques for measuring precipitation

TitleDeveloping techniques for measuring precipitation
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1978
AuthorsFoehner, O. H.
Conference Name46th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 46th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1978
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationOtter Rock, Oregon
KeywordsPrecipitation gages

Although precipitation has been measured for thousands of years, its reliability has been frequently (and justifiably) questioned. Within Project Skywater, a variety of field programs from California to Kansas underwrite instrument development and testing to improve reliablility and accuracy of data collection over wide areas at reasonable cost. Skywater data collection systems range from fence post gages to satellites. Instruments such as auto siphons and digitally recording radar have been tested with varying degrees of success. When measuring snowfall, comparisons indicated that both the snow pillow and the heated tipping bucket gage tended to undermeasure, while standard weighing bucket gages are subject to bridging and in heavy snowfall areas do not have adequate capacity. Although large orifice, high capacity weighing bucket gages hold promise of avoiding these problems, additional field tests are needed. Data relay alternatives have also been investigated. The Landsat satellite has been tested and compared with more conventional telemetry. The limited periods of response available from orbiting satellites has led to a current test with GOES for more frequent interrogations.