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Snow Science: Understanding SNOTEL

11th August 2016 | Tim Shisler

The SNOTEL system uses meteors to transmit the data back to master stations hundreds of miles away. Graphic by Cole Garrison.

The SNOTEL system uses meteors to transmit the data back to master stations hundreds of miles away. Graphic by Cole Garrison.

It's not uncommon during the course of a winter to hear meteorologists talk about the snowpack being 115 percent above normal. But what does that number actually mean and why is it important? Meteorologist Joel Gratz digs into the theory behind this seemingly arbitrary measurement and explains why it's not really about snow, but rather about water management. 

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