Most people’s reaction to heavy snow tends to be either “Snow day! Time to catch up on Netflix!” or “All my plans are RUINED!” But you’re a weather geek, the first thought that crosses your mind might be “How much has fallen?” Grab a ruler, and head out. The answer should be easy enough, right? Not quite. As with anything else, there are rules. Before exploring the most scientific method, let’s talk about how we can all get better snow measurements without much or any pre-planning. ‘Good enough’ technique To begin, if possible, it’s best to avoid measuring on the grass. Air caught in between tall blades will add extra accumulation. The last thing you want to be known as is a snow exaggerator. But, if you have no choice, measuring on low-trimmed grass is okay. Flat and level surfaces are preferable. Wood is probably the best, but picnic tables, car tops, or flat trash can lids also work. Pay attention to potential obstructions in and around your measurement spot. You don’t want to measure under a tree, which can intercept snow. Also try to find spots some distance away from buildings that can influence amounts by blocking or funneling wind. For this reason, decks or patios adjacent to homes can be a problem, even though they’re otherwise very good surfaces for measuring. Once you find an undisturbed spot, or several, you’ll want to take at least a handful of measurements. The more the merrier, but three to five should be enough. Try to round amounts to the nearest tenth of an inch (or millimetre if you’re metric), but a quarter inch works in a pinch. After you’ve taken at least three solid measurements, average them to determine your total. Measuring like a pro Even if you’re a hobbyist, it’s easy to measure like a pro. 4 tips to help you nap better Official measurements logged into the US National Weather Service records are typically done with a snow board – basically a square piece of wood, placed flat on the ground. Place the snow board before the storm arrives. Perhaps mark it with a flag or stake so it’s easy to find once buried. You’ll want to make sure the snow board is not close to obstacles that may interfere with the snowfall. Placing it at least 10 feet/3 metres from fencing or trees or structures is wise, as is trying to find areas with minimal drifting. The snow board standard is to measure once every six hours, then clear it to allow new accumulation, then sum each measurement. This method is considered most accurate because over longer periods the weight of additional snow leads to compression and lowers totals. Clearing more frequently than every six hours is frowned upon, as it will inflate totals. 6 natural remedies you need this flu season Often, storms don’t cooperate by ending on the six-hour mark. If snow ends or changes to mixed precipitation during the course of a storm, it’s best to get a measurement as soon as possible once accumulation ends. You want to take the maximum total on the ground, prior to a change to rain, settling of the snow, or melting. The value of snow measurements While it may seem “it’s just snow, so what?,” reliable snowfall measurements are important for historical records and may even determine whether relief is sent to a location after a major storm. They are also extremely helpful for storm tracking and verifying the accuracy of forecasts. But mostly they’re good for bragging rights with your mates. This article was curated by Young Post . Better Life is the ultimate resource for enhancing your personal and professional life.