Local police measure our snow - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Local police measure our snow

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To serve and protect doesn't normally mean snow and math but at Toledo's main airport, that's just part of the beat.  In addition to being trained airplane firefighters, you may be surprised to find out that the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Police force also take the cities' official snow measurements.  Sergeant Rick Gozdowski has braved the elements for almost 23 years.

"I was out here earlier in January, when it was, the wind chill was at least -41 below zero," Gozdowski said.  "Right out here there's nowhere for to stop the wind and the snow just blows across the ramp like it seems like it's a desert sand."

That brings up the question of drifting snow tainting a pure snow report.  Unlike rain, which falls in one spot, snow is constantly moving and there's no way to latch snow down.

"What we do, we try to get the most accurate reading around the area where we take the snow measurement reading.  A lot of times it will drift over or blow over.  Sometimes we have to go outside the circle and try to take an average of the snowfall around it and add that in."

We're here on the runway at Toledo Express Airport, several hundred yards away from where they measure the snowfall on the twin boards.  The automatic setup is behind us, where they measure the wind and the rain."

"The problem is, we got a lot of drifting here, we may have to come up here, and we get a measurement of seven." 

That's part of the weather service training. The police force adds in extra training for new officers.

"We'll bring them down and give them actual experience on hands on and snow reading and how to call in the snow readings and how to take a proper snow reading."

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