The Duncan Banner

February 10, 2011

Muncrief compares snow storms

Derrick Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — It’s been nearly 60 years since Ernest Muncrief began checking the weather, measuring precipitation in Marlow. Muncrief still calls in precipitation, whether it’s rain or snow.

Even Wednesday morning, Muncrief was outside measuring the snowfall, an accumulation of 2 inches.

“We’re a call-in station,” Muncrief said. “We call in three times a day, when moisture is falling.”

He said winter 2009-10 and 2010-11 are two of the worst winters for snowfall in recent memory. In December 2009, Muncrief had measured about 10 inches in snowfall. By the end of January 2010, an ice storm added to the precipitation.

“I thought the last winter was one of the worst we’ve seen,” Muncrief said.

The Marlow weather station has been around since the early 1900s. When Muncrief took over the station toward the end of the 1940s to keep it going, after the person who had it retired.

Checking the snow involves a snow stick, though he said, a yard stick would do the trick.

Snowfall in inches is measured by taking the average several measurements with the snow stick. He said he usually measures four to five places to get the most accurate range.

Muncrief said the snowfall has been significant both this winter and last winter. But he said he remembers winter having longer date ranges.

“It seems like we used to have longer winters,” Muncrief said.

Muncrief’s family also helps and  they raise cattle. Breaking ice was one of the daily chores this month. It’s something he recalls doing quite often years ago.

Now, he only has to break ice on occasion.

Muncrief has his theories on why this might be the case.

“I really believe in global warming,” Muncrief said.