Happy Holidays Snow Enthusiasts!!
As we observed the holiday this week, we will only have this one blog. We hope you all enjoyed your holiday and overlooked the fact that it rained and seemed bleak for our winter dreams! As I was walking into our church's Christmas Eve Service Tuesday night, I was less than pleased with the weather. I prayed hard for a white Christmas during the service, and when we walked out of the church… A beautiful, somewhat magical, white snow was falling silently. We twirled and shouted gleefully as we made our way home!
For those who are in the area surrounding the Mohawk Valley, no fear… I sense a great, white season approaching! The map shows our valley in the lighter shade of blue. But there is plenty of snow ahead, and as of right now up north. These maps and the snow depth measuring is a direct result of trained professionals using equipment that the NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION (NOAA) deems appropriate and sufficient. Although, you can actually make your own Snow Measurement Board (SMB) and measure the snow like the professionals. To make your own SMB, first acquire a 24 inch x 24 inch piece of plywood. A thickness of 3/8 inch to 1⁄2 inch is recommended to reduce the likelihood of having it blow away. For greater durability it is best to use exterior or marine grade plywood. Paint the plywood on both sides and all edges with a flat, white paint. Put your snow measurement board (SMB) out and mark its location with a flag or some other indicator so it can be found after a new snowfall. The SMB should be located in the vicinity of your station in an open location. Find an area where wind effects and drifting are minimized and far enough away from buildings or trees where snow blowing off of higher structures is unlikely to fall onto your SMB. Snow Depth, by definition, is the total depth of snow (including any ice) on the ground at the normal observation time. The snow depth includes new snow that has fallen combined with snow already on the ground. (1)
Our web map includes NOAA’s daily snowdepth, integrated right with the trails and web cams. Remember that the snowdepth is always at least a day behind, NOAA posts the prior day’s snowdepth on their server at either 6 am or 2 pm the next day. We grab this data shortly after 5 pm and process it to match the format of our web map.
As we approach the New Year, let us reflect on the past year and all that is important. Safety, is a very vital part of our recreational activity. We need to be aware of certain factors out there that can cause injury and fatalities. Please remember to wear a helmet, and always keep a 2-way radio, a cell phone, or some sort of communication device for safe measure. Every machine should have a designated rider if drinking is involved! I've read about a few deaths in NYS already due to snowmobiling unsafe and/or recklessly. There are certainly times when things just happen due to weather, other vehicles, mechanical issues, and riders avoiding regulated, groomed trails. Please stay on the state & locally funded trails and within markers or signs. Let's try to make this a safe, awesome, & Happy New Year!
Until next time…
… aaaand that's a braaaap!
(1) Read More: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/coop/reference/Snow_Measurement_Guidelines.pdf