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I'd like to setup an arduino to measure snowfall.  Any suggestions on how to do this?  I've had a couple of ideas: One is to use an ultrasonic sensor a couple feet above the ground.  I don't know how well an ultrasonic sensor works with snow.  My other idea was to have a big cylinder, maybe 18 inches in diameter, and have a bunch of paired IR sensors along the side, maybe one every 1/2 inch. 
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I like both of those ideas.  I bet the ultrasonic sensor won't mind the snow.  Mine loves carpet, and that is not all that different. 

You may want to make sure that your apparatus does not cause drifting, as depending on where you are that can be a major factor. 

I seem to remember that professional gauges have a chilled plate at the bottom to measure snow that falls when the ground temperature is still above freezing.  That might not be too hard to replicate with a peltier device if you care.
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Well given that where I live it's normally 25-35C I don't have a lot of experience with snow, but if the density is consistent how about measuring the weight of the snow in a container.

______
Rob
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Rob Gray aka the GRAYnomad www.robgray.com

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I seem to remember that professional gauges have a chilled plate at the bottom to measure snow that falls when the ground temperature is still above freezing.  That might not be too hard to replicate with a peltier device if you care.

I was thinking of putting a heat plate in the bottom, so after it was done snowing, I could melt the snow away.   The peltier device is interesting because I could do both heating and cooling.
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"snow pillows" are widely used in the pacific northwest of the US.

seen ultrasound pingers used in colorado.
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Well given that where I live it's normally 25-35C I don't have a lot of experience with snow, but if the density is consistent how about measuring the weight of the snow in a container.

An interesting FYI for those who live in snow-less climates.  The density of snow varies wildly from a very dense sleet (mostly ice) to a very light and fluffy snow made of large flakes.  Weighing the snow or measuring the melt water to find the density or as it is usually reported, water content, of the snow is actually fairly common. 
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Hello from Antarctica,

One of my experiments here is to measure the snow thickness. I am not so interestingv on accuracy, but just only to have an idea about the range.

I (and a lot of people around the world) use an array of temperature sensors at different elevations (eg., 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 40, 80, and 160 cm above the surface). The idea is the sensors register variable temperatures depending of the weather. When snowfall occurs and cover the lower sensor, the temperature it register is stable comprared with the temperature registered by the sensor located above it. And the same with the snowfall continue covereing the next sensors.

The resolution of this method depends of the distance between the sensors in the array. It is a low cost and low maintenance requirements method. If you are interested i can provide you some papers describing the method.

Cheers.

BTW, Happy New Year!
madepablo
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Well given that where I live it's normally 25-35C I don't have a lot of experience with snow, but if the density is consistent how about measuring the weight of the snow in a container.

______
Rob

The density is not consistent enough for high accuracy of snow depth, but would you need high accuracy?
presumably a rough guide to each new fall's amount is good enough.   You might have issues with the
weighing mechanism freezing solid though.

There might be a way to sense snow capacitively, but I'm not sure - wet and dry snow might behave
very differently as dielectrics.
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I'd like to setup an arduino to measure snowfall.  Any suggestions on how to do this?  I've had a couple of ideas: One is to use an ultrasonic sensor a couple feet above the ground.  I don't know how well an ultrasonic sensor works with snow.  My other idea was to have a big cylinder, maybe 18 inches in diameter, and have a bunch of paired IR sensors along the side, maybe one every 1/2 inch. 


In another 100 years we won't need this measurement. ;-)

Tim
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Arduino - Teensy - Raspberry Pi
My libraries: NewPing - LCDBitmap - toneAC - NewTone - TimerFreeTone

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