Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) about the AL Cam Image
 
Q. How often does the snow get cleared from the platform?

A. Every morning at about 11 am central time.

Q. I see tracks in the snow by the snow station, what are they?

A.  The tracks are from my dog, Burt.  He isa Labrador retriever and has the run of the yard.  I personally stay away from the snow around the snow station in order to not disturb it, but the dog does not see things my way.  It is his yard too and only snow, so I let him go by it.

Q. Sometimes it looks like you have piled snow up around the snow gauge, am I seeing things, or is that true?  And if so, why, are you trying to make it look like more snow is on the ground that is really there?

A.  One thing you can always count on me to do is to never lie about how much snow is on the ground up here.  I feel that one of the main reasons why the site is getting over 10 million hits a month is because the visitors know they can trust what I say.  Thus, I think the worst thing I can do is to ever lie or misrepresent the snow conditions up here.  Now, with that said, I do throw snow up against the snow gauge from time to time.  The reason for that is because the snow gauge will either block out the snow from falling directly against it or the winds will swirl around the gauge and cause a depression to form in the snow right against the gauge.  I will throw snow into the depression to bring it up to the same level of the snow around it, taking care to use loose snow so that it will compact at roughly the same rate as the surrounding snow.  Also, if I ever throw too much snow in there, then I make sure to remove enough so that it is level with the surrounding snow. 
As a side note to this, I will from time to time take pictures of the trails and post them to show the general conditions.  However, I do not get too much into reporting trail conditions because they change on a daily basis and on weekends on an hourly basis.  I have ridden down a trail Saturday morning on flat and great snow only to return that afternoon on 1-2 foot moguls.  So please refrain from asking me what conditions are like.  Anything I tell you could be completely different in just a few hours.

Q. Your historical weather page says you have picked up 10" of snow in the past 2 days, but yet your snowcover has only increased by 3, what gives?

A.  The majority of the snow we see in the Keweenaw is Lake Effect.  It is very light and fluffy because it is composed mainly of air.  After a period of time, gravity will cause the snow to settle and squish much of the air out of the snow.  I have found that lake effect snow generally settles at a rate of about 6:1, meaning that over time, 6" of lake effect snow will settle to about 1".  Much of the settling takes place in the first 24-36 hours after falling and then slows down over the next few days and may take up to a week to finally settle completely.  The settling process is why we can have over 20 feet of snow fall in a season, but yet have only 4-5 feet on the ground.

Q.  Has the cam ever captured one of your dogs doing...well...you know?

A.  Yes, but not very often.

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