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Snow cam of snowfall measurement stick

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Check out this fascinating snowfall measurement ruler platform video Kirkwood recently added. On the same page as their always excellent snow cam:

 

http://winter.kirkwood.com/site/mountain/webcam

 

One needs to select the play arrow bottom left. There is a speed slider at bottom right. The time for each frame is at upper left. Shows it started snowing about 2am and about a half inch accumulated on the platter but it melted back to nothing by late morning due to warm ground temps and air temp only near freezing. Then some snow showers late afternoon leaving wet blobs. This winter will be checking this out while at work during storms.  Note this is probably in the same roped off area where they have a tall pole marked off in feet and will likely clean it off each day to make incremental daily tallies.   A fine creative idea Kirkwood...nice!

post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 

Today's 24 hour time lapse sequence is even more interesting. Load the new video by selecting the play button bottom left.  Each video frame seems to be a 10 minute gap.  Snow starts accumulating on the platter about 10:30pm Tuesday and accumulates to about 4.5 inches by 3:30am.  Fascinating is the way the bushes behind slowly bend lower as snow accumulates on their branches.  Then between 5:37am and 5:47 something weird happened I was slow to grasp so played that back a few times.  The 4.5 inches went to 0?   I noticed the snow outside the platter didn't go away though?  Then the obvious clicked, someone up at dawn made a measurement then dumped off the accumulated snow to allow today's snow to accumulate.

 

So how does that dipstick compare to their snow report this morning?  Note the static image shows another inch has fallen since the 4.5 inches, thus 6 inches is reasonable.   At snow report shows 9:26 Base shows 6 inches and summit 8 inches, with a base depth of 10 inches. 

post #3 of 8

Yes, most of the VR are adding these this season http://www.epicski.com/t/122693/vail-breck-beaver-creek-and-keystone-snow-stake-cams-are-here

 

I might be wrong, but I actually think that the platform may automatically clear itself (possibly by flipping upside down)

post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post
 

Yes, most of the VR are adding these this season http://www.epicski.com/t/122693/vail-breck-beaver-creek-and-keystone-snow-stake-cams-are-here

 

I might be wrong, but I actually think that the platform may automatically clear itself (possibly by flipping upside down)

It does you can see it on the Vail Blue Sky Time lapse today....the picture was taken right in the middle of the tip...see today's timelapse.

 

You can also see how Breck reported 3 inches but only got 2 :rolleyes

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post
 

Yes, most of the VR are adding these this season http://www.epicski.com/t/122693/vail-breck-beaver-creek-and-keystone-snow-stake-cams-are-here

 

I might be wrong, but I actually think that the platform may automatically clear itself (possibly by flipping upside down)

Yea the post there says auto-flipping;  

But I would think they could also just get cleared by the same poor soul who has to do the "official" stake measuring done every 12hours.


Edit: Was able to find a frame that captured a stake mid-flip.  Observe that it just does a 180 not a 360.

 

 

 

On northstar's page they say: 

http://www.northstarcalifornia.com/info/ski/the-mountain/snow-reporting-faqs.asp

The unofficial snow stake (above) is photographed by a mountain camera daily at 5:00 a.m. then cleared at 5:45 a.m.


Edited by raytseng - 11/20/13 at 11:48am
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

This morning's video shows the accumulated load removed at 5:52am.   Not much snow last night as the post frontal disturbance was further south.    Likely the measurement equipment has  the noted  automated removal mechanism because the following frame shows the then platter with some likely frozen snow frozen to parts of the platter.   If it was a person, they would probably have  knocked or brushed that off.   Then near the end of the video at 8:52am a young nice looking gal with a Kirkwood cap appears holding some kind of red thing, maybe a cloth doing something to the measurement pole.

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by UGASkiDawg View Post

 

You can also see how Breck reported 3 inches but only got 2 :rolleyes

 

Breck is being torn apart on Facebook for over reporting.  Methinks their standard operating procedure will need to change with the new accountability.

 

@Tony Crocker might want to mark in the long term reporting logs when the snow stake cameras were installed.   I'd be surprised if there isn't a deviation from the long term average annual snowfall as a result of the new cams.

post #8 of 8
Kirkwood is an area that has required special attention. The patrol plot is low on the mountain and does not correspond to what is reported online during the season. I get patrol to make an upper estimate to average with the lower. This average fits well with older data from Carson Pass. So I'll be inquiring about location of the webcam.

With regard to Breckenridge we had a thread last season about its reporting vs Copper. I verified that Breckenridge discontinued its long term site 3 years ago and now only reports the higher numbers. I have not found out the location or elevation of the newer site.
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