WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The National Weather Service measures snowfall amounts in a particular way. It is something you can do at your home as long as you have a place that is in the open but blocked from the wind.

The Wichita NWS office posted a message on social media asking for the public to help:

As we continue to see snow spread across the area today and tonight, we would love your help! Please send us your snowfall amounts (and pictures) when you can safely measure. #kswx

NWS Wichita

The Goodland NWS says getting citizens involved helps immensely, especially in western Kansas, where there are fewer reporting stations. It posted an image explaining the six basic steps for properly measuring snow.

Steps for measuring snow (Courtesy National Weather Service)
  1. Gather your supplies – a ruler or yardstick, a 24-inch by 24-inch white board, and a flag.
  2. Find an open area away from tall objects but sheltered from the wind, which can be difficult in Kansas.
  3. Before the snow starts, put your board out and mark it with the flag. Make sure the flag is tall enough to be seen after the snow falls.
  4. Use the ruler or yardstick to measure the snow amount on the board. Record your total to the nearest tenth of an inch. After measuring, wipe off the board and place it on top of the snow.
  5. As soon as the snow stops, get the final measurement. If you wait, the snow may melt, settle or drift.
  6. Send your report to the NWS

You do not have to wait until the snow is finished to report a snowfall amount. The NWS says reports during a storm, even early, when there is a mixture of sleet and snow, are also important.

You can submit your snow report by clicking here and filling out the online form. Or get the mPING app from the App Store or Google Play.

You can also contact your nearest NWS office.