Finally Snow!

By: mark.holley Email
By: mark.holley Email

I understand that snow isn’t always welcomed in Wi, but snow is needed for many reasons. Ski resorts, snowmobilers, and winter sports love snow. Even my dog Dixie(lab/golden mix), loves snow. She will bark at the door to go out and play. Just a few days ago my yard reminded me of November, or April. We ran a poll on weau.com about the warm weather and 88% of the folks enjoyed the mild weather and lack of snow we had the last few weeks. Snow is a love/hate relationship and I will explain a few reasons why snow is good to have. I do understand that snow makes for dangerous traveling conditions and sometimes leads to injuries or even deaths.

Snow is a great insulator against low temperatures and excessive wind and even a free insulation for your house. Fresh, undisturbed snow is composed of a high percentage of air trapped among the lattice structure of the accumulated snow crystals. Since the air can barely move, heat transfer is greatly reduced. Fresh, uncompacted snow typically is 90-95 percent trapped air. A few inches of snow and help or even reduce your winter heating costs. The extent of protection depends on the depth of snow. Generally, the temperature below the snow increases by about 2 degrees F for each inch of accumulation. In addition, the soil gives off some heat so that the temperature at the soil surface can be much warmer than the air temperature. One study found that the soil surface temperature was 28 degrees F with a 9-inch snow depth and an air temperature of -14 F.

Your spring bulbs, plants and fruit trees are actually better off having a winter where you have snow. Snow helps keep your trees ‘warm’ and frost has a difficult time forming in the ground with undisturbed snow around the trees or plants. Snow brings welcome moisture to many landscape plants, which will in turn help prevent desiccation injury. Even dormant plants continue to lose moisture from twigs (as water vapor) in the process known as transpiration. Evergreen plants, which keep their leaves through the winter, are at even greater risk of injury. I have even dumped snow around a few plants to protect them if the forecast is calling for below zero temps.
We still have a the second .5 of January, and all of Feb and early March for the snow lovers and for the non snow loves about 60 days until spring.
I understand that snow isn’t always welcomed in Wi, but snow is needed for many reasons. Ski resorts, snowmobilers, and winter sports love snow. Even my dog Dixie(lab/golden mix), loves snow. She will bark at the door to go out and play. Just a few days ago my yard reminded me of November, or April. We ran a poll on weau.com about the warm weather and 88% of the folks enjoyed the mild weather and lack of snow we had the last few weeks. Snow is a love/hate relationship and I will explain a few reasons why snow is good to have. I do understand that snow makes for dangerous traveling conditions and sometimes leads to injuries or even deaths.

Snow is a great insulator against low temperatures and excessive wind and even a free insulation for your house. Fresh, undisturbed snow is composed of a high percentage of air trapped among the lattice structure of the accumulated snow crystals. Since the air can barely move, heat transfer is greatly reduced. Fresh, uncompacted snow typically is 90-95 percent trapped air. A few inches of snow and help or even reduce your winter heating costs. The extent of protection depends on the depth of snow. Generally, the temperature below the snow increases by about 2 degrees F for each inch of accumulation. In addition, the soil gives off some heat so that the temperature at the soil surface can be much warmer than the air temperature. One study found that the soil surface temperature was 28 degrees F with a 9-inch snow depth and an air temperature of -14 F.

Your spring bulbs, plants and fruit trees are actually better off having a winter where you have snow. Snow helps keep your trees ‘warm’ and frost has a difficult time forming in the ground with undisturbed snow around the trees or plants. Snow brings welcome moisture to many landscape plants, which will in turn help prevent desiccation injury. Even dormant plants continue to lose moisture from twigs (as water vapor) in the process known as transpiration. Evergreen plants, which keep their leaves through the winter, are at even greater risk of injury. I have even dumped snow around a few plants to protect them if the forecast is calling for below zero temps.
We still have a the second .5 of January, and all of Feb and early March for the snow lovers and for the non snow loves about 60 days until spring.


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