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  • 1 Sep 2014

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  • 2 Sep 2014

    Scattered Thunderstorms 81°F 62°F

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Stormy calculations

By Steve Zonies

Although it has been a long, cold and persistent winter, finally ... a "decent" snowstorm. We recorded 18 inches over a 29-hour period.

Excavating one cubic foot to begin the calculations, less the shovel's weight, it weighed 17.5 minus 4.25 = 13.25 pounds. Our roof measures 48 feet x 32 feet = 1,536 square feet; so, that snowstorm dropped 1,536 x 1.5 x 13.25 = 30,528 pounds = 15.26 TONS! Sleep peacefully knowing that's over your head!

Having been so cold, the snow's texture was very fluffy. Curious as to its water-air ratio, I filled a cylindrical glass with snow, allowed it to melt and then crunched the numbers. Five inches of snow melted to 3/8 inch of water; so, that snow was 92.5 percent air!

Together Warren, Waitsfield and Fayston cover 103.5 square miles; so ... with 18 inches depth per square foot, 41,817,600 cubic feet of snow per square mile weighed 554,083,200 pounds, or 277,042 tons per square mile. All three towns collected 103.5 times that over a 29- hour period – 28,673,847 tons. Our tiny wedge of the planet averaged 274.6 tons per second! Wow!

"What if" all that snow melted quickly and our Mad River jammed with ice to become the Mad River Lake? Not even including flow from the Granville Gulf and its headwaters, our valley would be submerged under 3.3 cubic miles of water. The Mad River can be our friend, too.

Without a doubt, the finest moment during this nor'easter was ridin' to work down Bragg Hill!

Editor's Note: When Fayston resident Steve Zonies is not crunching numbers after a blizzard, he is one of the dentists at Valley Dental.

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