Tracking rain in the winter season

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,
Winter brings drizzle, rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow, but do you track rain in the winter?
—Norval Galloway Lemont
Dear Norval,
All precipitation is tracked. Rain is directly measured, year-round, in a rain gauge, to the nearest hundredth of an inch. When winter precipitation falls as a solid, in the form of snow or sleet, the accumulated depth is measured to the nearest tenth of an inch and recorded as snow, but the snow collected in the gauge is melted and the liquid content measured. On occasions when it is snowing, and the ground is warm, and the snow does not accumulate but immediately melts on contact, the snowfall event is logged as “trace, melted as it fell.” All of the day’s precipitation is included in the day’s total water- equivalent precipitation, the rain that fell along with the liquid amount of any melted snowfall or sleet.

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