eclectic_boy: (Default)
[personal profile] eclectic_boy
I just got back from walking around lower campus (roughly Pittinger through Sharples) taking depth measurements. Swat's about four miles from PHL airport, but even though the airport is reporting 22.9", I'm reporting 11.0". Did something go wrong?

I don't think so, on my end anyway. I took a dozen measurements, in places reasonably wind-shaded but not near buildings (or right next to paths or trees). I got:
10.5, 12, 9, 10, 9.5, 12, 13, 12, 11, 11, 10, 12.
So, some variation but nothing near what the airport says. I did the same thing in 1996, when the airport officially reported 30", and I got 15". Maybe Swarthmore is a mysterious low-snow pocket? Maybe the airport gets mysteriously high readings?

Anyway, I'm cold and it's beautiful outside. And earlier today I got to go sledding on a large piece of cardboard I've been saving for over a year for just that purpose. What more can you ask for? Happy snowstorm of 2009, everyone!

Date: 2009-12-20 06:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
18" on *top* of my car, despite the wind. Expect to be sore tomorrow from shoveling. Stream has ice on most of it, and largely pyramidal, very tall caps on all its rocks. The air is glittery with blown flakes. My building grows excellent icicles. Maryland, who'd'a thunk it??

Date: 2009-12-20 01:20 pm (UTC)
crystalpyramid: crystal pyramid suspended in dimensional abnormality (Default)
From: [personal profile] crystalpyramid
Does being on a hill affect it somehow?

Date: 2009-12-20 03:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Unofficial, of course, and there may have been a little more that fell after 2030, but that's well within the ballpark of your numbers. I think there may have been some bands, and it's completely plausible that a band or two hit the airport and not Swarthmore, right? Beyond that, I think the airport number is just high.

I'm pretty sure we got more than the reported 9.5 in Ambler, but it's hard to tell.

Date: 2009-12-20 03:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
still falling here in BOS. Write to the airport and ask them?

Date: 2009-12-20 04:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
happy snowstorm to you too!! Sledding, yay. :)

Date: 2009-12-20 07:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know Ann Arbor, at least, is in a pocket that gets different weather. The tornadoes pass us by, and we get considerably less snow. The Snow Belt officially ends 9 miles south of my apartment, such that they can have several feet of snow, and I, within the Ann Arbor weather system, have never seen snow build up past mid-thigh, and usually it's only knee-deep.

Date: 2009-12-20 07:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I meant to say, the tornadoes pass us by to the north, but sometimes less than 10 miles north of the city. (As does a lot of snow.) And the snow passes us by to the south.

Date: 2009-12-20 07:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Maybe you should take the bus over to the airport and take some readings there.

Date: 2009-12-20 08:01 pm (UTC)
uncleamos: (Default)
From: [personal profile] uncleamos
Eh, NWS is reporting 16" on the National Mall vs. 20.5" in Arlington, VA, a distance of just a few miles.

Date: 2009-12-21 05:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Cecil Adams says that that sometimes "official" snow depths are determined by, you know, sticking a ruler into the snow, and other times they are determined by collecting snow in one spot, melting it, and using some equation that turns "amount of water" into "inches of snow". I could imagine that there could be discrepancies between these approaches.


Date: 2009-12-21 06:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's true -- I've used both methods when I was taking the official Center City snow measurement for the Franklin Institute years back.
But if they used the liquid-equivalent method with this particular snow they'd've had a very hard time getting an anomalously *high* reading... this was very powdery, low-density snow, maybe a 15:1 density ratio with liquid water. So using a standard 10:1 ratio for this particular snowfall would have led them to calculate a snow depth one-third too *small*. I don't think that's what's going on.

Date: 2009-12-21 06:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks for the update. What are you up to around swat these days?

Date: 2009-12-21 06:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, living here, first and foremost! Also organizing the Philadelphia-area alumni events, theoretically watching over all cities' Swat events (since I'm national Connections chair), being concert manager for Orchestra2001, holding gamings, Hitchhikers-readings, &c. in my apartment... and hoping you'll visit! :^)

Date: 2009-12-22 06:09 am (UTC)
ext_248645: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Hmm, how does this compare to the huge snowstorm that we had at Swat in 2003? I remember that as being about 2 feet, but I'm not actually sure... (Of course, if I remember right, that really big snow storm was followed a few days later by another like 6-8 inches, so that contributed to us having some very deep snow for a while...)
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