Snow clues

As I posted earlier, on Saturday Kim and I installed most of the hardware for a permanent Internet access point and weather station at the Boomershoot shooting line. I went back on Sunday to fix the wiring that jostled loose and verify the solar panel was charging the battery.

The path we had made was compact enough that I didn’t have to use snowshoes. I broke through maybe a half dozen times, but it was pretty easy walking considering the conditions. I have some more pictures which give some clues as to above average snow accumulation we have this year:


I did have to run back to the car just as I had almost arrived at the solar panel. A large pickup with a very large trailer filled with hay came down the road and couldn’t get past the narrow spot in the road my car had created. I backed down the hill to the driveway for the first house and got off the road far enough that the pickup could get by.

I found it interesting all the frost that had formed in the previous 17 hours:



The weather station was almost cartoon like with all the frost.



Both wind speed and direction sensors were non-functional because of all the frost.

This was the first time in many years when I went to Idaho and didn’t visit Mecca. Check out the bank of snow behind my car (Mecca is in the background).


Here is a close up of Mecca taken with my 300 mm lens then cropped to the interesting part. In the lower right corner is a picnic table.


This was the view from niece Lisa’s bedroom window.


Notice the depth of snow on the roof and on the deck?


The roads weren’t too bad, but before next winter I’m going to get some new tires for the snow. My current set has seen three winters now and they were having difficulty in the soft snow in the driveway to Doug and Julie’s place.


18 thoughts on “Snow clues

  1. I find myself thinking “Gee, considering the difficulty of doing the installation in the midst of winter and how the incredible thickness of frost make it non-functioning, wouldn’t it make more sense to wait three months?” But then again, I suspect you have your reasons.

      • Ah. I kinda figgered the snow-to-mud transition but didn’t realize there was such a short time ‘twixt mud and shootin’. Thanks for the clarification.

        • It’s a very careful balance. There was one time there was still a snow drift on the hillside during Boomershoot. We have had a fair number of people get stuck in the mud. Getting done what I can during the summer, fall, and winter is best. Just prior to Boomershoot is very intense and the fields are iffy in terms of drive-ability.

          If I schedule Boomershoot much later in the year I get into fire season (May 15th) and/or Mothers Day. I have promised the fire chief no more Boomershoots during fire season.

  2. joe:

    your car have a transfer case w/ a low range? might help a bit getting around in the snow, as would some “proper” tires.

    john jay

    • No. It is an automatic AWD. I grew up on this farm and drove in the snow a lot. I have studded snow tires on a set of rims but didn’t put them on this time because 90% of the trip was on bare pavement. And I did well enough.

  3. That’s some impressive frost buildup. Is that all true Hoarfrost or is some of it from falling or blowing snow? Here in Minnesota we only get that amount of frost in rare conditions. Is it more common where you are?

    • All Hoarfrost. It was sort of foggy during the night and with a breeze the conditions were good for some impressive build up.

      It’s pretty common. Several times a year. Sometimes several times in a month.

      • We must not get the right combination of conditions as often. We might get significant hoarfrost a few times per winter, but I’ve never seen that much at once.

  4. What weather station did you install? I’ve been looking for a good one; the Davis 6250 seems like it might fill the bill, but its reviews on Amazon are not as positive for longevity as I’d like.

  5. The best all-season winter tires on the market are made by a Finnish company, Nokian. Their dedicated winter tires (Haakapelita, or “ice chopper”) are way too soft to run on when the temperature is above freezing, but their all-season compounds last very well even through summer.

    That much snow on the roof means that the house is well-insulated, and the utter lack of icicles means that there’s probably no ice-dam problems. Our house here in Minnesnowta was built in 1901 and was insulated (probably) back in the 1970’s with blown-in cellulose. They did the best that they could, but we still get heat leakage up through the walls into the roof-line, and the only thing that saves us is the 12-12 pitch (45-degree) angle of roof. We’ve got good insulation in the attic, but there’s no way to access (short of ripping things apart) that little joining area. So if we get a big snowstorm with a thaw following we can generate some impressive icicles. I put a “helmet” (plywood with Styrofoam insulation under it) on the A/C condenser every fall since it sits under the drip line.

    • This end of the house is actually the garage which is not heated. There were some icicles. See the picture from Lisa’s bedroom window. And when the conditions are just right they get some very impressive icicles. But the house is well insulated. I don’t think they have had any ice-dam problems.

  6. I wonder if the people on Mt. Washington, NH would have some ideas for how to keep the frost off the weather instruments. Those pictures look just like what you see up there (except in their case it isn’t just limited to winter).

  7. I wonder if a hydrophobic coating like “Neverwet” or some Camp Dry would help keep the ice fog from accumulating.

  8. It’s going to get really gross out there starting tonight… I shoveled about 18 inches of mixed snow off our roof here in Pullman…

  9. Is that there some of that famous global-cooling-global-warming-climate-changing-snow”?
    Just asking as all we ever seem to get down here in Florida is global-cooling-warming-climate-change–hurricane-rain.

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