by PhilipJ on 29 November 2006
It has been snowing with unusual frequency in Vancouver the past few days, with the temperatures staying cold enough that it hasn’t melted away yet. In the spirit of leaves on the ground, I have noticed a new pattern created by the snow that we can all wonder about.
Between the physics and kinesiology buildings there is a courtyard, the ground of which is made up of a lattice of concrete squares with wood between them. The heights are not appreciably different (certainly not more than a centimetre or so), so I’ve been unable to explain the snow patterns on top of them, here:
Pardon the blurriness, but you can see cleary raised mounds over what is the wooden lattice between the concrete squares, quite a bit higher than the baseline snow in the squares themselves.
I see no reason why wind would play a role here, as I mentioned above the difference in height between the wood and concrete is negligeable. The only idea I’ve had is that perhaps snow melts more quickly on the concrete surface when initially falling, while snow that fell on the wood was able to accumulate without melting, leading to more build-up on the wooden lattice. I’m not entirely convinced this is correct, however. Anyone have any other ideas?