Measuring winter precipitation in cold and windy regions is recognized as a difficult task. Nonetheless, the accurate measurement of solid precipitation provides important input data for predicting snowmelt floods and avalanche danger and for monitoring climate change. The difficulties in measuring solid precipitation are associated with environmental factors and technological issues. Environmental factors that contribute to measurement errors include wind, freezing rain, rime, and a large range of solid particle shapes and sizes. Technological issues include gauge configuration, the need for remote, low-power-consumption operation, and difficult conditions for data transmission and retrieval. The objectives of this study were to review currently used gauges for measuring solid precipitation and snow on the ground, to summarize the positive and negative characteristics of each gauge, and to provide a discussion of best practices and design and performance criteria that might be used to stimulate research on new and/or improved precipitation gauges in Northern Research Basin (NRB) countries.
- precipitation gauge
- snow depth
- snow water equivalent
- solid precipitation
- First received 30 January 2016.
- Accepted in revised form 23 February 2017.
- © IWA Publishing 2017