Record Snow Observations with AMC Community Science

 

avalanche class probing snow depth

Help AMC expand the Community Snow Observations (CSO) network in the Eastern US. This community science effort engages winter recreationists in making snow measurements around the world and helps crowdsource mountain snow depth in the Appalachian Mountains filling in gaps where traditional measurements are scarce. Your measurements will help scientists improve snow cover estimates for avalanche safety, flood predictions, agriculture, and ecosystem science.

Measuring snow depth takes only a few minutes, plus a ruler or avalanche probe and a smartphone app. By helping usgather data to better understand snow cover and depth in the Appalachian Mountains, you can learn more about the snowpack and its variability in the areas you frequent.

AMC’s climate research has shown Pinkham Notch, NH, is losing 8.1 inches of snow per decade and the length of winter is shortening across the NortheastWhile Pinkham has been recording snow depth since the 1930s, snow depth measurements in locations across the White Mountains are generally limited. Expanding these measurements in mountain landscapes will improve our understanding of snow distribution and retention across eastern mountain landscapes. ur understanding of snow distribution and retention across eastern mountain landscapes.

More information at communitysnowobs.org and in our annual summit workshop.

To get started:

  1. Download the Mountain Hub app. Explore and familiarize yourself with the app. Using this app will geolocate your observation, even without cell service, and allow you to take a photo of the snow depth or the canopy immediately above where you are measuring.
  2. Turn on location in your mobile device if you have turned it off previously and adjust location settings within the app.This ensures that your photos are dated, geo-tagged, and measurement locations are accurate.
  3. Make and upload the observation. Be sure to review the selecting a site and making an observation videos first.

Once your Mountain Hub app is downloaded and account is set up, follow the directions below to add an observation!

To add an observation:

  1. Select the orange add button located at the bottom of your screen
  2. Select “Report conditions”
  3. Select “Snow Conditions” and hit NEXT
  4. Select “Snowpack Depth”
    • Check that units match your measuring device. If not toggle UNITS.
    • Take three snow depth measurements in your immediate vicinity with your measuring device.
    • Average your three measurements and record the average in the app as snowpack depth.
    • Hit the blue check mark
  5. Hit NEXT, leave Public selected and hit SUBMIT

Send us your email if you would like to participate in our future survey about your CSO experience!

Email us “Yes, I would like to participate in CSO survey” AMCMtnwatch@outdoors.org.

If you would like to stay connected with the CSO community, follow them on Instagram or Twitter or join their mailing list!

Don’t forget to bundle up and follow leave no trace principles on your winter adventure!

Learn More:

New England Winter is Getting Shorter and Less Snowy. Here’s Why

Avalanche Safety: Understanding the Risks Before You Hit the Slopes this Winter

Science in the Mountains presentation

About the Author…

AMC Staff

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign up for special offers, conservation alerts, adventures near you, and stories from across the region.