New Laser Measures Snowpack to the Inch

Tech could be used in avalanche forecasts

Snowfall

Snowfall along the river, Omagh     Photo: Kenneth Allen

Scientists in Boulder, Colorado, have developed a new device that can measure up to 10 feet of snow within half an inch accuracy using GPS signals and laser pulses. The technology can take as many as 1,000 readings at different points in an large area, providing snow cover and snowpack measurements with a far higher degree of accuracy than than snow gauges or yardsticks. Wind and sunlight can cause snow conditions to vary widely even across short distances. The measurements could help predict avalanche danger and flood hazards and provide valuable information to transportation crews and water managers. "It looks like new technology will finally give us the ability to say exactly how much snow is on the ground," scientist Ethan Gutmann said.

Read more at UPI

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