Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Getting the Drift

PostedJanuary 21, 2005

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Nolan Doesken, of Colorado State University, says snowfall accumulation is hard to measure because snow's a moving target… constantly blowing, drifting, settling, and melting.  But who really cares if four inches fell, instead of five?  Besides fodder for water cooler talk, those measurements help engineers with such things as designing structures for weight resistance and predicting floods.  Doesken says, so far, nothing beats an army of yardstick-wielding weather watchers, but he's testing ultrasound depth measuring technologies that may soon let humans stay out of the cold.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.