Time to think about counting snows once again.
Last year it seemed to work out for those that kept records, however many folks lost count and weren't able to determine if this snowcounting method worked for them. So this year, when you receive a measurable snow(see below for what counts as a snow) just email me or post a reply for your city and I will keep the records on this blog.
Last year I got the exact predicted number of snowfalls here in the southern suburbs of Buffalo, NY; 35. So It proved to work at least for the Eastern Great Lakes region, once again.
Feel free to visit this blog and post your snowfall reports as well as any pictures or stories about storms or winter experiences.
Time to get to the rules of snowcounting... if you have questions or you get confused as to what counts or doesnt, please ask!!! I'll get back to you with an answer ASAP.
Snow Counting Rules:
How many snows will you get this year?
The calculation for snowcounting is as follows:
F + N = S ( F= First Snow Date of Month; N= Number of Days Since Previous New Moon; S= Snows For Winter)
Add the date of the month which you receive your first qualifying snow (see "What counts as a snow", below) to the number of days since the last new moon.
For example: Its forecasted to snow on Oct 28th here in the Buffalo region. The last new moon was September 29th. It will be 30 days ago that there was a new moon from Oct 28th. add 30 (days since new moon) to 28(day of month) and you get 58. That is the number of snows that will be expected if the predicted snowfall happens.
This is really a worse case scenerio, as there is the maximum amount of days between new moon cycles in this example. My fingers are crossed that the first snow wont fall until the 29th... If that happens, the new moon is on the 29th of October. So there would be 0 days since the last new moon; 0+29= 29. In my area we usually average between 30-40 snows a year so my best guess is that the Buffalo area wont receive a qualifying snow until the 11-15th of November.
If we do get a qualifying snow the last week of October, there will be an unusually high amount of snowfalls for this region. If we receive a snowfall in the first week of November the amount will be inordinately small. If it snows on the 2nd of November, for example, then the predicted amount would be only 6 snows. This may happen for more coastal or Southern areas, so if you live in those areas that only recieve minimal amounts of snow each year, look out for the first snowfall to come in the first week of either November or December.
What counts as a snow?
A snow is counted when there is enough of it to track an animal and it doesn't melt until the next sunrise or sunset. For example, if it starts to snow over night, it must cover and stick to the ground (grassy surface...not pavement) the next morning without melting for it to count. If it starts snowing during the daytime, it must still remain on the ground through sunset. This is easy to determine by watching for animal tracks or by putting a footprint in the snow once it stops snowing.
A new snow is counted when
a.) snow has melted between snows (after it has remained long enough to count in the first place) and surfaces are recovered to fit the snowfall criteria.
b.) Snow from the previous snowfall remains for the required time to be counted, new snow covers the footprints tracks left by animals and tracks stay covered through the following sunrise/sunset.
Many snows are too light to track an animal or melt away too quickly to be counted. So remember to take note...can you track an animal in the grass and has it stayed through the following sunrise/sunset.
If a snow is continuous through a few days without letting up through the following sunrise/sunset, it is only considered one snow. in other words, sometimes it snows for a few days and still counts as only one snow. On rarer occasions, two snows can be counted in one day. For example.. It may snow over night and stop before the sun rises, yet the snow remains on the ground past sunrise. Then the snow starts again in the afternoon while it is light and lets up before nightfall, covering all morning tracks and remaining on the ground through the following night. This counts as 2 snows for one day.
*there have been occurances in the past whereas a few "questionable" snows were the subject of debate among fellow snowcounters. In the long run I'd say 98% of the time the snows ended up being counted...(at the end of the season, you're looking for those last few snows...and they linger on for us, so we tend to try to count as many as possible. I imagine the folks that thought this this up were in the same mindset.)
Thanks for visiting and participating!!! Keep us all posted on how you do with your corner of the world!!!
Last new moon: Oct. 29th
11/10/2008: #1 woke up with 1" of snow on the ground.
Updated: 2:16 PM GMT on November 10, 2008
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