Friday, January 4, 2013

Decent snow amounts across the southern NM desert were observed from this past storm. This time focus was on the lower elevations and over the Sacramento Mountains. It turned out that very little snow fell in the Gila.  Below is the snow water equivalent change map produced by the National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center showing the extent of the snowfall over southern NM from this storm.
Peak snow depths in NM were found both in Las Cruces, Cloverdale, and in Cloudcroft. Four CoCoRaHS observers measured over 3 inches of snow in Las Cruces. Amounts up to 4 inches were observed in El Paso and Hudspeth Counties. Below is a snapshot of snow that accumulated on a leaf in my front yard. You can pick out individual dendritic flakes. The snow that fell at near my CoCoRaHS gauge had a 10:1 snow to water ratio. That's a pretty typical ratio.
For those of you who are CoCoRaHS participants, don't forget to take your funnel off when you expect snow to fall. This is important when we get a significant snow and will exceed the depth of the funnel top very quickly. If you are unsure of the procedures for measuring and reporting snow, please review the tutorials on how to measure snow. I've had to contact some observers and make some corrections today.  The national CoCoRaHS website has a good tutorial.  Today my gauge had about an inch of snow accumulating on the lip of the gauge and I used the swatter to settle it in the gauge. It is suggested to lightly push down on the pile on the rim. I gently tapped on it to let it fall naturally.
I think the most important thing is to have fun doing it.

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