With the large number of snow storms this winter, I have been thinking about all the snow I have been shoveling. It seems to me that density should be included in the snow depth measurement. I believe that meteorologists should report not only the measurement of snow as it has fallen to the earth but also should report the compaction of snow, for instance 12″ of snow will compact to 6″ inches of snow. This would give us a sense of how hard it will be to get rid of all the snow once the storm passes.
There is a method for measuring snow depth that involves returning the snow back to a liquid state then measuring the amount of liquid. This seems to be a bit much to me. I propose a system with a simple rod with a bearing plate on it. The user would measure the depth of snow with the plate at the surface then the user would then press the disk into the snow and take a measurement after reaching full compaction.
If a user measures 12″ of snow and compacted it measures 3″ then the snow would be relatively light fluffy snow which will be easier for the user to move.
If a user measures 12″ of snow and compacted it measures 8″ then the snow would be relatively heavy wet snow which will be harder for the user to move.