6. Make Snow Not War
We don’t always have time to wait for the snow. Sometimes we have to help nature along. Natural snow is the snow falling from the sky, while artificial snow is created by humans and shot out of cannons. Artificial snow has much smaller ice crystals than natural snow, so it’s more resistant to rain and mild weather. That’s why it’s so popular and often used by ski centers as a foundation, even though it’s expensive. But we can probably all agree that nothing is better than flying down the slopes on the real, soft, and fluffy powder of natural snow.
7. It Can Snow Even When it’s Above Freezing
In Norway, it’s not unusual for snow to fall in April, a month most of us think of in terms of spring, sunshine, and budding flowers. In April it feels warm because the sun is shining, but the atmosphere is still cold. It’s still the transition period between spring and winter, even though we are in spring mode. Even though it’s above freezing on the ground, the temperature may be below freezing 500 meters up. When snow crystals fall toward the ground, they don’t always have time to melt into rain on the way down, so they fall as snow on a warm spring day.
8. Go Outside During the Dark Period
There is a lot to do in cold weather. Snow offers experiences and fun you should take advantage of before it’s too late. Try winter sports such as downhill or cross-country skiing, dogsledding, a sleigh ride with reindeer, or snowmobile trips. Not afraid of getting cold? Ice bathing is a favorite among many tough guys and gals and carries proven health benefits.
9. Snow Takes Lives
Even though snow can be fantastic, you have to be careful. Interacting with snow is not without danger. Many of the lives lost are caused by avalanches. Every year avalanches kill several people, both in and outside of Norway. Snow avalanches are a natural phenomenon that can occur in all areas where there is enough snow and the terrain allows for it. There is often a risk of avalanche when fresh snow has fallen on top of older and harder snow or a snow crust. Avalanches are usually triggered naturally, but they can also be triggered by skiers and other traffic. There are several ways to prevent avalanches and reduce their force and the damage they cause. Such measures are taken in areas where avalanches are a danger to human life, for instance near ski centers, mountain villages, roads, and railroads.
10. How Snow Melts
But what really happens to the enormous masses of snow every spring? The snow comes, the snow disappears. This is how it happens:
- The most important factor for ice to melt is warmth from the air. This occurs when the temperature is above 0°C.
- Shortwave radiation from the sun and longwave radiation from the earth’s surface take care of a large part of the snow melting. The reason the sun doesn’t contribute more is that the white snow reflects most of the radiation. This problem may be solved by making the snow darker, for instance by scattering ashes on it. Farmers have done this throughout history.
- When water vapor in the air is condensed to water on the snow, heat is released, which causes the snow to melt.
- Heat from rain and heat from the ground also contribute to snow melting, but not enough to have much effect.