Have you ever heard the expression that it’s a waste of cold air if it doesn’t snow? Well, under a clear sky and temperatures that struggling to reach freezing today in central Maryland, there was snow at one house in Ferndale. This photo got my attention when Walter Parker sent it to me on Twitter. I HAD to know more! Sure enough, this man whom I have never met, is cut from the same cloth as me. Not only does he have an obsession with snow, but fatherly desire to provide for his children. He found out how to make snow, and did it with his 15 year old daughter. Please read on as I get to share how this this looks in action (video), the inner components, how it works, and where you can get your own.
Before I get to that, I need to share what an honor it has been to have Walter contact me. I have found out that he is a lawyer for the Army and an Army Reserve JAG on the weekends. In his free time he makes snow for his daughter, and neighbors. That is a true American hero!
There is a way for you and me to use the same basic snow guns that ski resorts use on their slopes. I know ‘gun’ is a sensitive term these days, but this is the good kind, and still covered under the 2nd Amendment. I am just bummed I didn’t think of this sooner. In fact, while gathering more info, I went outside with my boys when they got home from school and tried our own version with my power washer. Sadly, that didn’t work since I didn’t have the right pressure or nozzle to make the droplets small enough to crystalize. So below is a brief explanation what does and how you can do this yourself.
The best thing in all of this, check out how Walter’s daughter Amber decorated the snow-maker:
Faith in the Flakes! They promised to get some video with their shirts on soon.
#WP4 stands for Walter Parker the 4th. He plans to trademark his tag in the likes of RGIII one day, even though he’s a Ravens fan. Not HTR-
In Walter’s words:
“As a dad, it was fun doing it with my daughter especially taking her to buy the components. I think she learned a lot watching me, a lawyer, try to explain to those mechanically inclined what I wanted to do and eventually getting what I needed. I told her afterwards, see you can get what you need even if you don’t know the language; people are helpful if you are nice. She just smirked but that’s the best you get from a 15 year old teenager.”
Walter also said, “As you can tell, we follow you and have Faith in the Flakes. Thanks for the reasonable and accurate forecasts that allow my wife to ignore my wish-casting snow maps”.
Stuff like this, no words to describe. Just an honor to be able to share this love of weather and snow.
How Does This Work?
The basic principal of snow making starts with the temperature. It should be cold enough (freezing), but snow can be made when it is warmer that 32°F, if the air is dry enough.
A high pressure force of water through a small nozzle, breaks up the flow into a fine mist of very tiny droplets. Some evaporation plus the change in pressure in the air forces the ice crystals, AKA snow to form.
Here’s the full view of the original photo:
Video: The snow gun in action
I have not gotten the information for coverage and depth. I remember a report I did in Snowshoe, WV many years ago when they bragged about being able to cover the slopes with the equivalent of 10 football fields with 1 inch in one hour. I don’t they will be eating their hearts out yet. But just getting coverage
The three nozzles are for the water from the power washer. The other nozzle hooks to an air compressor. Nothing fancy, just the household variety power washer and compressor. The one photo shows what Amber, my daughter, used to make it look professional.
I am not getting paid for this, just simply think it’s fun so I want to share. This company Snow at Home provides the equipment, starting with the smallest kit at $398. A small price for a big obsession perhaps?
They give you a way to find out the proper conditions to make the best snow by you with current weather and forecasts. The web site also adds in a little guilt if you ask me. I sampled Owings Mills as a location and found out that if you live there, you could have made snow 53 days last year. Yes, they keep track of al the lost time we’ve wasted not having our own snow guns.
Until then, we can always wait for the real thing to fall. FITF
Faith In The Flakes: Real Snow Will Arrive… Eventually
See all of our shirt the designs here, hosted by local printing partner Ink Splash in Westminster available for ordering now. Orders now may be delivered after the holidays.
Please share your thoughts, best weather pics/video, or just keep in touch via social media
Get the award winning Kid Weather App I made with my oldest son and support our love for science, weather, and technology. Our 3 year anniversary of the release and our contribution to STEM education is this November. It has been downloaded in 60 countries, and works in both temperature scales. With your support we can expand on the fun introduction to science and real weather.