Snow Makers

Every winter sports enthusiast has a favorite practice for increasing the chances for frozen precipitation.  Late November and early December is the time to start.  Whatever you do along this line you have to do it with sincerity and total belief in its effectiveness.  Some wear their pajamas inside out.  Others try to catch that first snow flake on their tongue.  Others flush ice cubes.

Personally, I rely on a bit more science and tons more enthusiasm.  Round up a bunch of youth ages 4 to 13.  A Bill Koch Youth Ski League Club comes in handy: plenty of enthusiasm.  To help build the enthusiasm further  tell the kids you are planting ice-cubes to make it snow.   Next you need ice cubes, very cold ones.  Mushy wet ice-cubes will not work.  The perfect ice-cube is one that is so cold when you bring it out on a moist late fall day the moisture from the air crystallizes perfectly on the ice-cube.  From here the recipe for snow gets a bit particular.

Timing is of the essence: I know that the mean first day of a significant snow fall (6 inches or more) in New York’s Capital District is December 8.  So picking the first week of December increases our chances by 50%.

Next instruct your youth in five important factors.  Pick out some high ground.  Everyone knows that snow falls first on the high ground.  Give each youth something to dig with, because you have to get into high mineral soils.  Run fast to the high ground before the ice-cubes begin to melt (also good training for cross country skiers).  Bury the ice-cubes in mineral soils and cover with soil and then leaf litter.  A handful of cubes in several different shallow holes seems to work better than one big dump in one pit.  Reinforce to the youth that it is important to believe.  If you picked even one young skeptic this whole process is for nothing other than to clean out your refrigerator ice-maker for the coming holidays.

Happy ice-cube planting!  And the more ice-cubes we get planted in the largest area the better our chances.

Got a better idea for making it snow?  I would like to hear about it.  Use the comment box below.