SNOW, blog improvements and the science of snow/ice

Well it finally snowed on MV. Overnight a storm raced through as the temperatures dropped so it fell as snow instead of rain for a change. Does not seem like earth shattering news but all of last winter we received one snow event and we have had some cold weather this winter so assumed we would get more this year. It was predicted several times and all around us but we never had more than a dusting. This event was 2-3" of lite fluffy snow. Was bitter cold in the 20's with wind blowing the stuff all over. It was melting on any warm surface (pavement, gravel) and then re-freezing because of the low temps.
First hole

Chris tinkering with "new" bobcat plow on driveways
The amount of snow really was not worth plowing especially on unfrozen dirt roads and driveways. If you look at the picture above you see more dirt on the plow than snow. But since the purchase of this plow we have not had enough snow to learn the function of it well, so Chris went out to check a few of the year-round driveways and run it through its paces. Any traffic on the snow packed it and turned it to ice so the roads were getting hazardous in spots. We called the town in to sand and with current temps I assume they are clear and much of the snow is melting. I can see it melting here in Sandwich so assume the same on MV.

Today I added a new "page" to the blog. These could be considered "tabs"? Under the main header, where my picture is, there are three pages: Home, Our Staff and now Current Conditions. I used to put a window on the right side of the blog at this time of year to show current course conditions and really announce when we were on temporary greens. This is mostly for the winter players. I decided on a page since I learned how to use them last week. It is similar to this page and allows for a lot of input such as pictures, discussion etc
Tree company clearing trees on rt side of 9 for landowners view
An outside tree company started doing some view improvements for a few landowners Friday and will continue into next week. This work is done with club approval and is at their expense. Sometimes we gain improved views from this work also. Or we main gain much improved air flow or sun exposure to a certain area of the course. When it comes to growing grass removal of trees is most always a good thing.
I want to delve into the science and art of snow/ice and its removal. This was an interesting event as I mentioned above. The weather leading up to the event was good so the earth is warm and retaining heat going into the night. Hard inanimate objects like cars or raised decks were dry and colder so the snow built up on them and when removed with just a broom came clean right to the surface. Decks at ground level and gravel paths held the heat and melted the lower layer of snow and then re-froze as ice or was slush on bottom. Any traffic either walking or driving, (on either surface) also made the tracks freeze. I explain this as a reason for why we don't like skiers and sledders on the course, or at least try to get them on the perimeter. I cleaned my stairs off just in case they did not fully melt while away this weekend. With sub freezing weather predicted next week anything not melted will be an icy mess. On the stairs I walked on the snow, (before cleaning), the foot prints compressed the snow and made them stick to the wood. The same happened on the ground and the same happens with ski tracks and sleds.
second story deck after trying to clean with broom

notice foot prints
front deck with no traffic cleaned right up

on gravel prints turned to ice quickly
There is science to learn and deal with every aspect of life. Certain chemicals or types of ice melt work better under different temperatures. The addition of ice melt is a game changer in many ways as well because if there is too much left behind the walkway never dries because the salt is absorbing moisture out of the air. Same principal for adding rice to your salt shaker in the summer. Also if you add too much it can be tracked into the building ruining the flooring. We do not deal with this much at Mink but it is part of the process of snow removal and it was a big part of the last course I was at where we had 6 indoor tennis courts and an odd party in the winter. My recommendations would be to use ice melt sparingly and sweep any excess off. You want the surface to dry as quickly as possible to avoid freezing at night. For those of you reading this while having a cup of coffee on the lanai waiting for your next tee time enjoy the nice weather and be sure to use plenty of sunscreen!

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