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Performance Assessments of Precipitation Gages for Snow Measurement


Snow measurement with a precipitation gage is affected by snow properties, air turbulence and gage configuration. Various shields are used to reduce the effects of these factors and to improve the catch performance of the gage. In this investigation, comparisons were made of the following gages and shields: the Belfort weighing-recording gage without a shield, with an Alter shield, with a restrained Alter shield, with a Low Wyoming shield and with a Raised Wyoming shield; a Russian gage with and without Tretyakov shields and with a restrained Tretyakov shield; a Swedish gage with and without a shield; the Fischer and Porter gage with and without a shield; and a modified Fischer and Porter gage with a modified shield. In addition, Hamon's proposed dual-gage approach was tested and the effects of wind speed and air temperature on the gage catch were also analyzed.

Precipitation measured by an Alter-shielded gage in a forest opening was used as the standard catch. The catch by the Raised Wyoming-shielded gage was found to be free from wind effects and to correlate well with the standard catch. All gages without shields of any kind performed very poorly. Other gage performances fell between these two extremes.

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