Friday, January 25, 2008

Misc. Weather Info

Let me attempt to answer a few comments from my post on Wednesday.

Someone was asking about the various temperature scales (C and F). Click this link to learn more.

There is a very detailed history of how these scales were defined.

The other comment was about the math from the 1938 Winter Storm in upper Michigan -- and how the new snow that fell didn't match up with the difference between the pre-storm and post-storm snowpack.

I agree a few look suspect -- but one thing did stand out in my mind as I read it. The snow was described as very heavy and wet -- so there was likely a lot of settling and compacting.

We had a snow like that here in Denver a few years ago. I recorded 42 inches of snow at my place but it barely piled up to 2 feet during the storm because it was so loaded with water. The snow was almost like a wet cement.

In fact -- as crazy as this sounds -- the weight of the snow was squeezing the water out of the snow below it. When you stood back and looked at the snow, the bottom half of the snowpack had an aqua blue tint to it.

That was the storm that dropped almost 5 inches of water on the Front Range and filled up some lakes that were nearly dry after the drought of the early 2000s.

SO -- if that is how that snow was in 1938, then I can see how the snow never really "piled up" like one would think.


  1. For heavens sake! I'm almost sorry I asked. What a convoluted (and not completely known) history. It (the referenced history) also hinted at the US's exclusive (well, almost) use of the FÂș scale and the whole "metric" debate. I should have left well-enough alone. How about, "what's the average temp. of a Latte"?

    Honestly, thanks for the reference Chris.


  2. We watched an episode of Nova on PBS the other week. "Absolute Zero" Super interesting!!

    This talk about the Upper Peninsula of Michigan has got me a tid bit more excited for my attendance at the UP 200 dog sled race in a few weeks! MUSH!