Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Snow melting trivia...

Visit my facebook page for information on how to enter my Melting Snow Contest and have a chance to win one of my books. It’s easy, just find the photo of the snow pile in my front yard, guess the date  that you think it will completely melt, and post that date in the comments below the picture. 

You can also enter by posting your guess as a comment below this blog post.

The snow pile 

The guess that is closest to the actual date without going past it will win a choice of any of my books in eBook or print format.


To help you out with your guess, here are some fun snow facts:

How fast does snow melt? Well, it depends:

  1. How much snow is there to melt? Deep snow will melt considerably slower than a ‘skiff’ of snow.
  2. How compact is the snow? All other factors equal, loose snow will melt faster than snow compacted by the wind, machinery, people’s footsteps, etc.
  3. Where is the snow? Well, if it’s in a glacier, or in Antarctica or the high Arctic, it might never melt. Otherwise, it is well known that snow in the shade will melt slower than that in the sun. Snow drifts on the north side of a hill can hang around for weeks after the rest of the ground is bare. Likewise, snow in the forest, shaded from the sun by trees, will melt slower than the snow in a meadow.
  4. How warm  is the air? Snow melts at the same temperature as ice and the warmer the air and the longer the warm air hangs around, the faster snow will melt.  In Northern Alberta, even if the days are warm the snow might stick around for a long time if nighttime temperatures consistently dip below freezing.
  5. Is it sunny out? The direct rays of the sun will speed up the melt.
  6. Rain—a good warm spring rain (or even a cool rain) can wipe out snow faster than any other factor listed here except perhaps for...
  7. Wind. A good Chinook* can abolish several feet of snow in a matter of hours. A cold, brisk wind, on the other hand, can cause drifting and compaction and prolong the melt.  As moving air can hold more moisture than stagnant air, a wind—no matter its temperature—will help with the melt by promoting evaporation.
  8. How white is the snow? Of course snow is white, but it gets contaminated over the winter with dirt and other debris. Because white reflects light and heat, and dark colors absorb it, the more dark contaminates in a snow pile, the faster it will melt.
  9. Are humans around? Eager to see green grass, people often spread a snow pile to hasten its melt. This also might be done to direct melt away from places one would prefer stayed dry.

What makes me an expert on melting snow? My 50-plus years of living in Northern Alberta.

* Chinooks, warm, strong westerly winds that blow into the prairies from across the mountains, are common winter-time occurrences on the eastern slopes of the Rockies from Boulder, Colorado on up north to Calgary, Alberta. 

In my novel, THE TRAZ, a Chinook almost results in the rescue of young Katrina.

A warm December Chinook melts all the snow, allowing The Traz bikers an opportunity to climb aboard their Harleys and go for a Christmas Day spin—a spin which almost nets the lot of them jail time and almost saves Katrina from the gang’s clutches. Almost....


 THE TRAZ on Amazon

Also available in paperback from all fine online bookstores.

 “I recommend this dark and compelling story”

"...each little conflict leads to the climax...It reminds me of how little white lies can turn into a crisis"

"Exciting, powerful, and tragic...young adult book for all ages" 

"... they draw her into the dark world of drugs, murder and lawlessness..."

Eileen Schuh, Author

Schrödinger's Cat


Lizzie Lamb said...

Hi Eileen, here in the UK we are very wimpish regarding snow. Three flakes and everything grinds to a halt. Children (and teachers) look fwd to a little bit of snow because it means the schools might be closed for the day as teaching staff can't get in. Looking at your pile of snow makes me feel inadequate and I know for certain I am not made of the stuff pioneers are made of !! I'm guessing the snow will have gone by April 21st. Hope I'm right. Best regards, Lizzie (Lamb)

PutiPato said...

I'm going to say April 29th. :-)

Eileen Schuh: said...

Thank you Lizzie & Todd for participating in my contest. I'll be posting photos on my author page as the snow melts so you can see if your guesses are still in the race. Good luck!

Jonathan R. Holeton said...

Hi Eileen, my guess is... June 12th :)

Eileen Schuh: said...

Thanks, Jonathan.