Figuring out the snowfall totals after each snowstorm has always been a daunting task for snowplow contractors. The accumulation amounts, can be far different than the total snow on the ground at the end of the storm due to “settling” of the snow onto itself during the storm.
Even in New England, and the Boston area of Massachusetts in particular, snow can settle over a 24 hour period upwards of 20%. That means, for instance, even in a one-day storm, a total of say 8” of snow may be left on the ground after the storm is over, but a snowplow contractor might have plowed a foot or more total (6” two times). What happens is the wind and additional snow tends to “squash” the snow that has already fallen, leading to this “paradox”.
To make matters worse, there are no official observations of snowfall accumulation. The National Weather Service takes calls from the public and cooperative weather observers, which are only partly reliable. There are large “holes” in the network, and everyone appears to have a different way of measuring the snow. Many observers fail to report in after the last flake flies, and often they are tallying the snow on the ground after the storm rather than the accumulation of snow that has occurred during the storm. (Snowfall is supposed to be “cleared” every six hours, but I usually recommend 2 to 3X per day to make it easier on an individual observer)
With additional observers, radar charts, and experienced interpolation of the data, Todd Gross and Terry Casey’s “Snowforce” Snow Accumulation Reporting service takes the guesswork, and frustration out of this confusing mess. Snow amounts are reported town by town in Eastern Massachusetts and vicinity, within 48 to 72 hours after the storm ends. The TOTAL snow is reported that was plowed during a given storm, not just the amount that remained on the ground after the storm was over. These reports can then be used by Snowplow Contractors for billing purposes. Since an inch or two may make the difference between hundreds or thousands of dollars, this service usually will benefit the snow contractors, but will also aid businesses who are having their ground plowed by preventing “frivolous” claims, and exaggerated amounts, made by snow removal services that really aren’t sure how much snow fell.
This service is run by Todd Gross, and Terry Casey, both Meteorologists working in the industry for over a quarter of a century. Todd Gross was formerly the Chief Meteorologist at Channel 7, WHDH-TV in Boston, and Terry Casey has worked not only in TV but for consulting firms including WSI and Weather Central, leaders in the field.
The charge for the “Snowforce” service varies widely depending on the number of towns that snow is being tallied. Please contact Todd Gross through his email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (617)312-9574.