Today’s world is fast moving. When we look back at just the recent past, we see tremendous advances in technology. In the summer of 2016, as TrueWeather was preparing to enter the market of providing Certified Snowfall Reports, it conducted in-depth interviews with many, many companies, from small local contractors to large national enterprises and asked them what top 5 components do you want in the delivery of a Certified Snowfall Report?
Here is what the Market Wanted:
- an accurate report
- a report reviewed and approved by a degreed Meteorologist
- a portal which makes it easy to access and download the report
- a better price then was currently available in the general market
- and finally, a report available within 24 hours
Is this possible, considering point one above uses the word “accurate”?
I asked TrueWeather Chief Meteorologist, Michael DeFino, to offer some insight into this matter. DeFino commented…
“One of the main sources for our Certified Snowfall Reports comes from the National Weather Service’s (NWS) public information statement. There are five main ways the NWS collects snowfall totals.
- Through NWS Cooperative Observer Program (Coop) stations that send a daily report to the NWS. These reports have been around for over 120 years.
- From trained spotters through the NWS SKYWARN educational program. The trained spotters are educated on how to properly measure snowfall and send reports to the NWS shortly after the event has ended.
- Through a growing network of volunteers through the Community Cooperative Rain, Snow & Hail network (CoCoRaHS). CoCoRaHS volunteers send updates daily at 7 am each morning with snowfall observations, snow depth, precipitation and hail over the last 24hrs.
- Reports through the public. The growing number of localized weather Facebook communities has allowed for hundreds to thousands of people sharing observations in a localized geographic area. The meteorologists at the NWS perform a quality controlled check before implementing these observations on to the Public Information Statement. These reports are usually given to the NWS shortly after the last snowflake falls, making a great wealth of information available to our meteorologists to certify snow and/or ice totals within 24hrs.
- Snowfall measurements from airports that are received every 6 hours.
That alone is not enough for us to release a Certified Snowfall Report, however. We also thoroughly review NEXRAD radar data, analyze observed snow to liquid ratios, analyze satellite imagery, and perform our own in-house quality checks of snowfall reports from our clients and other social media platforms.
All this along with our completely custom platform that we developed in-house is what allows us to certify not only the most accurate reports but also the industry best 24hr Certified Snowfall Reports”
I certainly appreciated Chief Meteorologist, Michael DeFino for his insight on this question. But that wasn’t enough for me to complete this article. So we decided to reach out to an independent party. We asked the same question to Michael Gorse of Delran NJ, who happens to be a Lead Meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Mount Holly Office. Gorse commented…
Snowfall measurements at official airport reporting stations (ASOS Climate sites that measure snow) are received at the NWS every 6 hours as long as snow has occurred or there is snow on the ground. In the case of changing precipitation types, the snowfall measurement should be taken and reported immediately as the snow is changing to rain or a mix to be sure a more accurate snowfall measurement is obtained. There can be some short delays during the every 6 hourly reports, however most reports arrive in a timely manner.
The NWS being on social media has a huge impact regarding reports, in this case, snowfall. The reports on social media are not just from the public, but also from NWS Trained Spotters and some from the media. The NWS receives many snow reports, several of which are in near real time, however, we continue to conduct quality control on these reports before including them in our products.
So, there you have it, technology has made the difference! The speed of reporting data makes it inherently faster to process, and therefore to deliver!
Certified Snowfall Reports by TrueWeather are highly accurate, a professional meteorologist certifies them, they are easily accessed online, have the best value pricing in the market, and they are available within 24 hours of a snowfall!