Item: Standpipe precipitation gauge
Title: Standpipe precipitation gauge
Proceedings: 1988 International Snow Science Workshop, Whistler, October 12-15
Authors: Ed Campbeil
Abstract: Staff from the B.C.Ministry of Transportation and Highways, Snow Avalanche Section, have been testing and developing a relatively new style of precipitation gauge since 1982. This Standpipe Precipitation Gauge is a PVC plastic container which holds a solution of Ethylene Glycol antifreeze and water. An electronic pressure transducer mounted near the bottom of the gauge measures the pressure of the fluid being forced into a port on the pressure transducer. By calibrating the transducer it is possible to relate this pressure to a vertical measurement of water equivalent. Testing and field use of these gauges over the past six years has proven them to be both accurate and reliable when installed at suitable precipitation monitoring sites. A small, submersible pump is mounted inside the gauge to prevent possible freezing over of the antifreeze solution in the gauge during periods of heavy snowfall and/or cold temperatures. Experience has shown that insufficient natural mixing of the antifreeze/precipitation solution may occur during extreme weather conditions. This has resulted in a slush or ice layer forming in the gauge. The submersible pump mixes the solution at a predetermined interval to virtually eliminate this problem.
Keywords: ethylene glycol antifreeze, gauge, precipitation, avalanche, ice layer
Digital Abstract Not Available