UND students get ready to be ‘SNOwD UNDER’!

This winter’s weather will mean more to some students at the University of North Dakota and area K-12 schools than it ever has before.

That’s because student researchers will be studying snowfall in the Red River Valley from Nov. 15 to Dec. 6 in a project titled “SNOwD UNDER (Student Nowcasting and Observations with the DOW at UND: Education through Research).

The project will be led and conducted by UND graduate and undergraduate students with participation from K-12 schools and guidance provided by University faculty.

More than 20 area primary and secondary schools have been invited to measure freshly fallen snow at their schools using the same technique used by official weather observers.  By carefully measuring the snow depth that has fallen on a flat “snowboard,” UND student researchers will be able to properly correlate the data with radar and aircraft sensor observations of falling snow.  This will allow better snowfall estimates in regions where only radar data is available.

Additionally, middle and high School students will be melting the snow into a liquid equivalent to calculate snow density.  Snow density is defined as the water alone divided by the total volume (air plus water) and is important for understanding the snow’s growth conditions.

The following schools were already signed up as of Oct. 25:  Sacred Heart High School, East Grand Forks; Riverside Christian School, East Grand Forks; Ben Franklin Elementary, Grand Forks; St. Michaels Elementary, Grand Forks; Holy Family Elementary, Grand Forks; Valley Middle School, Grand Forks; Devils Lake Middle School; Emerado (N.D.) High School; Stephen-Argyle (Minn.) Central High School; and Red River High School, Grand Forks.

For more information, go to www2.und.nodak.edu/our/news/story.php?id=3270

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