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"Sticking Snow" definition

Ryan McGuire
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Joined: Feb 18, 2005
Posts: 1013
    
    3
We have a pool going at work on the timing of the first snow fall that actually sticks. While we've come to basic agreement of the necessary amount of snow to qualify, we've found that we have widely varying definitions of what counts as "sticking".

The top contenders:
1. Overnight.
2. At least a week.
3. Until the last snow of the season.

I've tried googling for some sort of generally-accepted definition of how long snow has to last to count as "sticking" but have come up empty. (Maybe I just haven't stumbled on the correct combination of words to search on.) Therefore I'm turning to my colleagues here. What constitutes a snowfall that "sticks".
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61766
    
  67

Snow -- the concept is vaguely familiar...






Seriously, I'd personally consider "sticking" snow to be any that does not immediately melt upon hitting unpaved ground. But I may be biased because I see it so rarely.


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Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
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Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24187
    
  34

Perhaps the most meaningful definition would be snow that lasts until it snows again.


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Jan de Boer
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Joined: Dec 10, 2010
Posts: 490
    
    1
I think it should survive the maximum temperature of that day. Most probably this is around 13.00 hours. If snow survives lunchtime, it's snow. And then the pool winner, can treat you on a dinner.
Paul Clapham
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Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 18987
    
    8

Bear Bibeault wrote:Seriously, I'd personally consider "sticking" snow to be any that does not immediately melt upon hitting unpaved ground.


That was my first idea too. But since you've come up with a minimum value for the "amount" of snow which you require -- would that mean the depth of the snow? -- I guess that wasn't what you meant by "sticking". Our idea doesn't require any minimum amount -- a layer one snowflake deep would be sufficient.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
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Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11498
    
  16

sometimes, the snow can 'sick' if it is on unpaved ground in a shadow, but in direct sunlight it melts.

Snow that lasts until the next snowstorm doesn't work. If there is one snowstorm this year that dumps 12 inches, which takes a week or two to melt, but then no more snow comes, by this definition it wasn't sticking.

Doesn't the national weather service provide an "accumulation" amount? Perhaps if they say you accumulated more than 1/4" or something...


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Jayesh A Lalwani
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Joined: Jan 17, 2008
Posts: 2448
    
  28

Around here, we use Bear's definition of sticking. It's sticking if it's accumulating on the road (and then all hell breaks loose on the roads). If it melts as soon as it hits the pavement, it's like rain as far as the cars are concerned.
Mike Simmons
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Joined: Mar 05, 2008
Posts: 3018
    
  10
Well, Bear's definition was for unpaved ground. Jayesh is suggesting it needs to stick on paved ground, which is harder to achieve, and certainly much more significant in its effect on drivers. Personally I'd agree with Bear's definition.
Henry Wong
author
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Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 19064
    
  40

Mike Simmons wrote:Well, Bear's definition was for unpaved ground. Jayesh is suggesting it needs to stick on paved ground, which is harder to achieve, and certainly much more significant in its effect on drivers. Personally I'd agree with Bear's definition.


I also think that where the ground is matters too. For example, in NYC, Manhattan could be about 10 degrees warmer than the outer boroughs -- likely caused by the steam pipes and the power lines feeding the buildings, and also the underground trains.

Henry


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Paul Clapham
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Joined: Oct 14, 2005
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    8

I think that most of us are discussing whether snow sticks to the ground ("adheres"). But I suspect that Ryan and his co-workers are discussing whether the snow sticks around ("persists").
Mike Simmons
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  10
Henry Wong wrote:I also think that where the ground is matters too.

Yeah. For a bet, I'd specify a particular patch of ground, put a stick in the ground 1" high (or whatever height you agree on), and say the snow has to cover that - period.
dennis deems
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Joined: Mar 12, 2011
Posts: 808
If more than a full day has passed since the end of the snowfall, and the snow still covers the ground, it has stuck. If the snowfall ended during the night, start counting from 8am.
Ryan McGuire
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Joined: Feb 18, 2005
Posts: 1013
    
    3
Paul Clapham wrote:I think that most of us are discussing whether snow sticks to the ground ("adheres"). But I suspect that Ryan and his co-workers are discussing whether the snow sticks around ("persists").


Exactly. How persistent does the snow have to be to count as persistent?
Mike Simmons
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Joined: Mar 05, 2008
Posts: 3018
    
  10
Dennis' rule seems a good way to measure persistence, then, for purposes of a bet. Combine with my stick-in-the-ground approach so you're not arguing about what it it sticks in one area but not another.
Martin Vajsar
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 22, 2010
Posts: 3611
    
  60

I'd say that if your back aches from the effort to keep the driveway usable, the snow is "persistent". And if the snow doesn't go off the shovel easily, it "sticks".
Wendy Gibbons
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Joined: Oct 21, 2008
Posts: 1107

i would class it as snow that lasts long enough to get one snowball fight in or one snowman built. (but in the uk we need to be quick)
 
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