About these ads

Morning photo: Snow!

Ephemeral …

Buffalo Mountain gleams in the morning light after a big snowfall.

Buffalo Mountain gleams in the morning light after a big snowfall.

FRISCO —As long as I’ve lived in snow country, I’ve never become jaded to snow. To me, it’s one the most beautiful substances on the planet, and there’s something completely magical to seeing the landscape transformed by a thick new blanket of the frozen white stuff. The most recent storm to move through Summit County was a good one, reminiscent for me of a Sierra storm cycle, when you measure accumulations by feet, not inches. The storm took a while to clear out, so I had two mornings to go out and try capture the feeling, both with my DSLR and with the iPhone. Can you tell which pictures in this set have been massaged by various iPhone apps and filters? If you like the snapshots in this post, please visit our Fine Art America online gallery for a full selection of Summit County landscapes. Continue reading

About these ads

Climate: Canada’s subarctic lakes drying up

Canada subarctic lakes

Some of Canada’s subarctic lakes, seen here from a passenger jet, are drying up in a sign of abrupt climate change. bberwyn photo.

After at least 200 years of stable water levels, sudden dessication sets in

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — In another sign of abrupt climate disruption, scientists say some of Canada’s subarctic lakes are drying up at a rate not seen for at least 200 years, as snowfall in the region declines.

A research team studied about 70 lakes near Old Crow, Yukon, and Churchill, Manitoba, most of them less than one meter deep. More than half of the lakes located on relatively flat terrain and surrounded by scrubby vegetation showed signs of desiccation. Continue reading

Incoming storm prompts avalanche, travel warnings

A NOAA weather satellite image shows a strong snowstorm headed for the Rocky Mountains.

A NOAA weather satellite image shows a strong snowstorm headed for the Rocky Mountains.

CAIC forecasters highlight ‘very real and rapidly increasing avalanche danger’

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — A developing winter storm has prompted the season’s first avalanche warning in the Colorado high county. With up to 12 inches of snow expected across the higher terrain, forecasters with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center say extra caution is required for backcountry travel this weekend.

“Don’t let the fresh snow blind you to the very real and rapidly increasing avalanche danger,” the CAIC posted on its website. The heaviest snow is expected Saturday afternoon and Saturday night and the thin and brittle early season snowpack likely won’t be able to support the fresh snow, especially in wind-loaded areas. Continue reading

Summit County: October precip close to average

sdg

October snow. bberwyn photo.

Temperatures much cooler than average at the National Weather Service observation site in Dillon

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — The 2014 water year started with above-average snowfall in Summit County — a good sign for the winter according to Breckenridge-based weather-watcher Rick Bly, who measured 20.5 inches of snow during October. The average snowfall for the month is 12.3 inches.

According to Bly’s historical records, dating back to the late 1800s, above-average December snowfall is followed by an above average winter 70 percent of the time.

That snow melted down to 1.33 inches of water, just slightly above the average 1.27 inches of precipitation in October, which is the driest month of the year in Summit County. Continue reading

Climate: Laser technology helps unravel the mystery of ice-nucleating bacteria

dgsf

So many snowflakes, so many mysteries …

Proteins found to remove heat and order water molecules

More Summit Voice snow stories

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Snowmakers at Colorado ski areas have long known that some species of bacteria can help the process of crystal formation, so they use additives derived from those bacteria to help boost output.

The bacteria’s outer membranes include special proteins that help ice crystals form. That helps the bacteria trigger frost formation at warmer than normal temperatures on plants, enabling them to invade through the frost-damaged tissue. When the bacteria die, many of the proteins are wafted up into the atmosphere, where they can alter the weather by seeding clouds and precipitation. Continue reading

Morning photo: Leaves

falling …

asfd

Ever since the U.S. Forest Service added this fence, this has become one of may favorite spots for landscape photos. The fence adds a strong linear element to the scene.

FRISCO — Getting one last look before the incoming winter season knocks the last of the colors off the branches, and trying to look for these spectacular autumn leaves in a new way … Continue reading

Powder? On Mars?

Study suggests orographic precipitation patterns on the Red Planet

 Mars from the Odyssey spacecraftWater-carved valleys on Mars appear to have been caused by runoff from precipitation, likely meltwater from snow. Early Martian precipitation would have fallen on mountainsides and crater rims.Credit: Images from NASA

An image of Mars from the Odyssey spacecraft shows water-carved valleys that appear to have been caused by runoff from precipitation, likely meltwater from snow. Early Martian precipitation would have fallen on mountainsides and crater rims. Photo courtesy NASA.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — A close look at erosional scars and other landforms on Mars provides more evidence that water once flowed across the planet — and some of it may have come from melting snow that accumulated during orographic precipitation events, the same dynamic that often drives snowfall in the Colorado high country.

Orographic snowfall occurs when moist air is lifted up the side of a mountain by winds, cooling until it condenses into precipitation. The new study published in Geophysical Research Letters suggests that four different water-carved valleys on Mars appear to have been caused by just such a pattern.

The research project was led by Kat Scanlon, a geological sciences graduate student at Brown University. Scanlon studied orographic precipitation effects on Hawaii. When she looked at the structure of some of the valley networks on Mars, she suspected that similar forces may have been at work. Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,395 other followers