Posts Tagged ‘snow’

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Snow Jobs: The white stuff makes for good growing

Where agriculture is concerned, dairy is king (or is dairy queen?) in northern NY State. Looking out the window now in late February, though, it looks like we should be growing snow peas or iceberg lettuce. Actually, for farmers, maple producers, foresters and gardeners, there is an up-side to having plenty of winter white stuff.

Snow has been called “the poor person’s fertilizer” because it’s a source of trace elements and more importantly, of plant-available forms of nitrogen, a nutrient often in short supply. When snowmelt releases a whole winter’s worth (i.e., almost six months) of nutrients in a short time, the nitrogen value can add up.

Since air is 78% nitrogen, you’d think plants would have all they needed. But atmospheric nitrogen, N2, is a very stable, inert molecule that plants are unable to use – you might say that for plants, nitrogen gas is broken. Fortunately, some soil bacteria can “fix” gaseous nitrogen, converting it to water-soluble forms that plants can slurp up. Lightning also turns nitrogen gas into plant “food.” But this only accounts for a small percentage of the nitrogen found in snow.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 11, 2021

There’s something about the weather….

There’s something about the weather, particularly when it comes to hydrology, that creates an almost eye-rolling cycle of stories. If it’s not too dry, it’s too wet. With a changing climate, the normal also changes — for instance, while reporting a story on pollution running into Lake Champlain, I heard from officials on both sides of the lake that they’re seeing more rain and storms so intense they’re called “rain bombs,” a recipe for uncontrolled flashes of water that sweep pollution into the lake from fields and streets.

Some people notice all this. Others do not.

Two years ago, while I was reporter in the Southwest and had spent a few years covering a major drought, we had what seemed like an awfully rainy and cold winter for that part of the world. A few people I talked to regularly said, Oh yeah, this is strange weather for here. So, I called the National Weather Service and asked, Ain’t it awfully rainy and cold? Not really, the local meteorologist replied, it was only the 55th coldest stretch on record.

Such is the nature of human perception: We forget what happened or remember things that didn’t.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, January 4, 2021

Thoughts on snow

So far, the best I can say for this winter in the Adirondacks is that I haven’t had to shovel much.

Actually, that’s not all. I took my son downhill skiing this week, and we had a blast for several hours … until the rain soaked through our coats.

Here’s hoping for (and expecting) a 2021 that delivers the snow for all your outdoor adventures, and for our magazine’s suggested ski outings. Regardless of how much snow we get or when we get it, here are some seasonal safety tips we published last winter.

In the meantime, let us know if you have any insights on Adirondack snow to share with us. We’re working on a story about the history and future of snow in these mountains, and what it means to our economy and ecology. Besides what climate scientists and other experts have to say about changes in our winters, we’re interested in hearing personal stories about your experiences and observations through the years.


Saturday, November 21, 2020

Helping the snow birds that stick around

When we hear the term “Snow Birds,” we naturally think of a person who migrates from the colder northern parts of North America to warmer southern locales but birds here in the Adirondacks also claim this title and fittingly so.

As winter approaches the mountains, an entire orchestra of song birds migrates to a warmer, southern winter territory.  The morning music of feathered chirpers throughout the spring and summer months have flown away not to return until April-May next year.

These flying migrators range from 29 species of warblers to various populations for thrushes, sparrows, flickers, bluebirds, buntings, sapsuckers, wrens and hummingbirds.  This does not leave winter void of the sound of winged music, there are songbirds that remain and brave the cold.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Snow Shoveling Do’s and Don’ts

Phillip Bridges shovels the driveway of his new home Winter has arrived in the North County, and the snow will not be leaving us anytime soon. Not everyone has access to plows or snow blowers, which leaves us with one last snow removal tool, the shovel. Shoveling snow can be a physically intensive activity, and should be treated as one.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2015, more than 158,000 people were treated in an emergency room, doctor’s office, and clinics for injuries that happened while removing snow or ice manually. In order to prevent these types of injuries, you can follow some of these steps. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Winter Storm Impacting The Adirondacks

snow storm in the adirondacksThe National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the entire Adirondacks and Northern New York through 7 pm Monday. Heavy snow is expected – from 8 to 18 inches in the Adirondacks, at a rate of up to an inch per hour.

Snow will begin late Sunday morning and be heaviest late Sunday afternoon through midnight. The heavy snowfall rate and blowing snow will create hazardous travel conditions.

This storm will create outstanding outdoor conditions for the first time this season across the entire region for snowmobiling, skiing, and snowshoeing. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Adirondack Wild Turkey in Winter

There are only a few dozen species of birds capable of surviving the rigors of an Adirondack winter, and of these, the wild turkey is one that is more closely associated with the warmer and less snowy regions to our south than the boreal woodlands to the north.

While the turkey is traditionally viewed as one the most successful inhabitants of open, temperate forests, the cold-hardy nature of this bird and its resourceful and adaptable traits permit it to survive throughout the Park, even during winters when intense cold and deep snows are the rule for lengthy periods of time.

With its large, round body and small head, the wild turkey possesses a shape well designed for retaining heat. Despite the lack of feathers on its head, the turkey is able to hold its head close enough to its body for much of the day to reduce heat loss from the limited amount of exposed skin that occurs on its face and over its skull. A dense covering of plumage over the core of its body, along with a layer of fat, helps this bird effectively conserve body heat. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 31, 2016

Diapause: Adirondack Insect Winter Inactivity

Individuals that lived in the area during 1980 might recall that snow had to be trucked onto the Nordic ski trails because of a near total absence of snow during that January. And in February of 1981, the December and January snowpack completely melted, and the ground started to thaw because of a month long period of record-breaking mild weather.

Most of the invertebrates that populate this climatic zone are well suited to deal with such intense thaws by experiencing a type of dormancy known as diapause. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Outdoor Conditions in the Adirondacks (Feb 11)

CompassThis weekly report of outdoor recreation conditions in the Adirondacks is issued each Thursday afternoon and can be heard at North Country Public Radio on Friday mornings.

Sunrise Saturday in Lake Placid will be at 6:59 am; sunset at 5:22 pm, providing 10 hours and 23 minutes of sunlight. The Moon will rise Saturday morning at 9:53 am and set at 11:41 pm. It will be Waxing Crescent with 32% of the Moon visible portion illuminated. There will be a First Quarter Moon on Monday at 2:46 am.

SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Winter: Part Of Adirondack Cultural Identity

White Stuff = Green StuffClimate change threatens not only the winter economy of the Adirondacks, but also the cultural identity of the region.

Lake Placid twice hosted the Winter Olympics, in 1932 and 1980, and continues to capitalize on its history, attracting a variety of winter-sports events such as the Winter Empire State Games and international skiing and sliding competitions.

The Adirondack Park has spawned a number of Olympic athletes. Drive through tiny Vermontville and you’ll see signs celebrating that it is home to Billy Demong, who won the gold medal for Nordic combined in 2010. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 7, 2016

How A Warm Winter Impacts Local Wildlife

20160104_tdpt_decDuring a mild winter in our northern forests, there are those of us who cheer our lower heating bills and those who scan the forecast, hoping for cold and snow. In a classic El Niño year like this one, when we often get unseasonably mild weather well into February, there are winners and losers in the natural world, too.

El Niño refers to a natural warming of Pacific waters. This phenomenon occurs every three to seven years, when prevailing trade winds, which drive the direction and force of ocean currents, slow down. As a result, cold water from the depths doesn’t get mixed with surface water, the ocean’s surface temperature rises, and global weather patterns can be altered. This year’s strong El Niño is being complemented by a low pressure system in the far north – called the Arctic oscillation – that’s keeping polar air trapped around the North Pole. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Outdoor Conditions in the Adirondacks (Jan 7)

CompassThis weekly report of outdoor recreation conditions in the Adirondacks is issued each Thursday afternoon and can be heard at North Country Public Radio on Friday mornings.

Sunrise Saturday in Lake Placid will be at 7:31 am; sunset at 4:35 pm, providing 9 hours and 1 minutes of sunlight. The Moon will rise Saturday at 6:46 am and set at 4:38 pm. There will be a New Moon on Saturday at 8:30 pm.

SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Outdoor Conditions in the Adirondacks (Dec 17)

CompassThis weekly report of outdoor recreation conditions in the Adirondacks is issued each Thursday afternoon and can be heard at North Country Public Radio on Friday mornings.

There will be a First Quarter Moon on Friday, December 18, 2015 at 10:14 am. Sunrise Saturday will be at 7:27 am; sunset at 4:19 pm. On Saturday the Moon will rise at 12:37 pm and set at 1:39 am Sunday. On Saturday the Moon will be Waxing Gibbous with 62% of its visible disk illuminated.

The Winter Solstice, marking the shortest day of the year, will take place on December 21, at 9:48 pm. Thereafter amount of daylight each day will lengthen (until the Summer Solstice). Winter Solstice marks the beginning date for Winter 46ers, who must hike the 46 between December 21 and March 21.

SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Snow: Nature’s Fertilizer?

winter corn fieldWhere agriculture is concerned, dairy is king (or is dairy queen?) in Northern New York. But with the kind of winter we’ve had so far, I wonder if we shouldn’t start producing other crops, ones particularly suited to our region. How about we raise snow peas? Or iceberg lettuce?

OK, so I’m indulging one of life’s most futile activities, griping about the weather, but for farmers, foresters and gardeners, there is an upside to all this snow. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Science of Snowflake Shapes

TOS_snowflakesWho hasn’t marveled at a lacy snowflake coming to rest on a jacket sleeve? Do you wonder how it could survive the fall to earth in one piece, or if it’s really true that no two snowflakes can look exactly alike?

A snowflake begins high up in the clouds, not as a snowflake but as a small particle of dust, salt, or ash. When a cloud cools below 32°F, some specks of water vapor freeze onto the particle. As it moves through the cloud, the particle absorbs additional water vapor, building up microscopic layers of ice. When water molecules freeze, they bond together in a way that forms a six-sided ice crystal. » Continue Reading.



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