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National Water and Climate Center

Snow Survey Sampling Guide

For Special Conditions - Sampling Very Shallow Snow

Sampling Very Shallow Snow

If water content of the snow is less than 2 inches, it is difficult to read the weighing scale accurately for single sample points. Do as follows:

  1. Take a sample at the sampling point.
  2. Empty the core into a bucket or any container that can be tied to the weight scale. (if the empty container is not heavy enough to record an empty weight on the scale, add more weight. Use sections of sampling tubes, driving wrenches, or anything handy.)
  3. Record the depth of snow and length of core as shown on sample note below.
  4. Weigh container and any added weights when all the sample cores have been accumulated.
  5. Record this weight in the bottom of the column "Weight of Tube and Core."
    Empty snow from container. Weigh container and weights and record this figure at the bottom of the column "Weight of Empty Tube."
  6. Subtract weight of empty container from weight of container and core. Record the difference at the bottom of the column "Water Content Inches." To obtain average water content on the snow course, divide total water content by total number of sampling points.
  7. Total the snow depth and divide by number of sampling points to get average snow depth.
Bulk Sampling Notes