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Precipitation - Measurement Of Precipitation

rain depth snow measured

Precipitation reaching the ground is measured in terms of precipitation rate or precipitation intensity. Precipitation intensity is the depth of precipitation reaching the ground per hour, while precipitation rate may be expressed for different time periods. Typical precipitation rates for the northeastern United States are 2-3 in (50-80 mm) per month, but in Hilo, Hawaii, 49.9 in (127 cm) of rain fell in March 1980. Average annual precipitation exceeds 80 in (200 cm) in many locations. Because snow is less compact than rain, the mass of snow in a certain depth may be equivalent to the mass of rain in only about one-tenth that depth (i.e., 1 in [2.5 cm] of rain contains as much water as about 10 in [25 cm] of snow). Certain characteristics of precipitation are also measured by radar and satellites.


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