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Here's how you can report total snowfall in your area for this Friday's snowstorm

Meteorologists at the National Weather Service rely on the public's reports after everything from winter to severe weather; in all months of the year.

DES MOINES, Iowa — It doesn't take much—all you need is a ruler to help the National Weather Service in Des Moines' meteorologists out with the upcoming snowstorm on Friday

Not only does it give them a better idea of where the heaviest areas of snow are falling, after the storm it gives the meteorologists a perspective on where the forecast went right, and where some of the data may have led them astray.

There's an easy way to do it, too! There's a phone number you can text with your photos, videos, or if you just want to describe what you're seeing.

That number is: 515-240-5515

"We want people to feel comfortable and be able to reach out to us when they have information that they feel is worth sharing," Chad Hahn, the warning coordination meteorologist with the NWS Des Moines office told Local 5.

If you are a weather enthusiast and want to get to become a certified storm spotter, the meteorologists at the NWS DSM will hold beginner classes starting in March. They'll wrap up in April right in time for severe weather season to start ramping up!

AJ Mumm, director of Polk County Emergency Management says the value of what you see and are able to safely report has much more value than any radar image.

"Words, pictures, and videos from people in their own community is what causes them to take the most immediate action."

Learn more about Iowa's weather by subscribing to Local 5's YouTube channel

RELATED: WEATHER LAB | Explaining what a temperature inversion is

RELATED: LOCAL 5 FORECAST: More mild weather Wednesday, but snow returns Friday

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