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(KTXL) — Many communities in Northern California are seeing snowfall for the first time in several years and might be curious just how much fell, well the National Weather Service has provided a step-by-step how to do just that.

Video above: Team coverage of winter storm in the Sierra and Sacramento Valley

“Accurate and timely snowfall measurements are extremely important to you National Weather Service office, your community, local media and many others,” the National Weather Service writes.

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Step 1

The supplies you’ll need is a ruler or yard stick, a 24″x24″ white board and a flag.

Step 2

Find an area that is open, away from tall objects and sheltered from the wind.

Step 3

Place your board out and mark it with the flag. Make sure to do this before it starts snowing.

Step 4

Place your ruler on the white board and record your total to nearest tenth of an inch. Measure once daily at around the same time.

After measuring place the board on top of the snow and wipe it clean after each measurement.

Step 5

When the snow stops make sure to measure as soon as possible to avoid lower totals due to melting, settling and drifting.

Step 6

You can then send you report to or contact the NWS Sacramento on Facebook and Twitter

On Thursday, the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab near Donner Summit has measured more than 16 inches of snowfall and are expecting to see even more over the coming days.