A Simple Way of Measuring Snow Water Equivalent

Winter is not far away. Soon we’ll be asked to measure the depth of new snow as well as the total depth of snow on the ground. But it is equally important to measure the water equivalent of both the new snow and that of the total snow on the ground. One of our former members, Rob Lyons (AB1NJ now SK), led me down the path to a very simple way of measuring water content of snow. Simply use your 4” diameter cylinder to take a core sample of the snow, new or total, and weigh it in ounces and divide the weight by 0.72 to get the water content in inches of the snow.

This sounds like a lot of bother but it is really very easy, much easier than trying to melt the snow and measuring the water content directly. The best way to do it is to set up a “snow table”, a piece of plywood on top of a bucket and push the 4” cylinder down through the snow and then slip a spatula under it, turn the cylinder over, and you have a core sample of the snow.

To weigh the core sample you need a scale. Before you take the core sample of snow weigh the 4” cylinder to get the fare weight that you will subtract from the core sample. There is a very accurate and inexpensive scale available on Amazon or at Walmart (under $20):

American Weigh Scales Blade Series Digital Precision Pocket Weight Scale, Black, 1000 x 0.1G (BL-1KG-BLK)

Buy one that has a 1 KG capacity (see below). The table below shows the weight -> volume of water of snow. Be sure to subtract the tare weight of the 4” cylinder.


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Snow Flurries? How do I report them?

Great question. If you have a snow flurry and see flakes in the air but nothing accumulates on the ground, that is still a “Trace” of snow and should be reported as such “T”. And remember, a Trace of snow means you’ve had at least a trace of precipitation. You cannot report 0 for your precipitation when you’ve had a trace or more of snow. Snow is, after all, precipitation.


Why is the Sun so quiet? As the Sun enters into a period of time known as a Solar Minimum, it is, as expected, showing fewer sunspots and active regions than usual. The quietness is somewhat unsettling, though, as so far this year, most days show no sunspots at all. In contrast, from 2011 – 2015, during Solar Maximum, the Sun displayed spots just about every day. Maxima and minima occur on an 11-year cycle, with the last Solar Minimum being the most quiet in a century. Will this current Solar Minimum go even deeper? Even though the Sun’s activity affects the Earth and its surroundings, no one knows for sure what the Sun will do next, and the physics behind the processes remain an active topic of research. The featured image was taken three weeks ago and shows that our Sun is busy even on a quiet day. Prominences of hot plasmasome larger than the Earth, dance continually and are most easily visible over the edge.

What you see above is something I have copied, with permission, from the Astronomy Picture of the Day, a website that I visit at least once a week (https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180820.html).  The picture of the Sun above, taken by Alan Friedman, show the absence of any sun spots.  Combine that with the fact that the Gray Line is appearing later each morning as we approach the end of Summer and we can understand why our band conditions have been so poor.


It has been a long tradition in the NEWN to hold a luncheon in August, usually the third Saturday of the month).  It’s been not only an opportunity to put a face on a call sign but also a chance for group discussion of issues (or non-issues).  It has also been an opportunity to pass the reins of Net Manager if a new Net Manager had been elected by the members at the turn of our fiscal year, May 1st.

Interest in the annual luncheon has waned over the past few years with declining attendance.  The usual reason has been the distance traveled to get to the luncheon in Swanzey NH.  So, this year I decided to see if we could expand the luncheon venue to the primary areas of the membership.  My plan was to hold four luncheons on the four weekends of the month of August.  The first was to be held in Connecticut, the second in Maine, the third in New Hampshire (as usual at Pappagallo’s), and the fourth meeting on Cape Cod.

Well, the best laid plans of mice, men, and Net Managers often go astray!  Although I handed the Net Manager role to Jack Caoron, W1AYX, in May, I continued to take responsibility for the annual get together.

The first problem was that there was almost no interest in a luncheon in Norwich, CT.  But I thank Jim, KB1KCA, from East Lyme, CT for trying to help.  So we cancelled the first luncheon.  The second luncheon was held in Hudson, ME and was hosted by Stes, K1WXY, at his camp just north of Bangor, ME on Little Pushaw Pond.  Four members attended:  Jack, W1AYX, our new Net Manager, Stes our host, Andrew, N1WMR, from Bar Harbor, ME, and myself, K1MGH after a two day trip to northern ME.  Jack and I brought our wives (and my dog, Seamus) and the six of us had a very nice luncheon.  The third luncheon was cancelled because the venue, Pappagallo’s, was sustained a lightning strike that wiped out most of their facilities.  The fourth luncheon was held at the Parrot Bar & Grill in Bourne, Cape Cod.  Five members attended:  Tom, WA1KDD, Gene, KX1C; Henry, K1WCC; Doug, N1JBG; Greg, W1SOO; Charlie, K1CB and his wife Helen.  We had a good time and good food.

Hudson, ME:

Bourne, Cape Cod

Luncheon in Bourne MA on August 25th

The NEWN luncheon in Bourne MA will be held at the Parrot Bar & Grill,  good beer and good food.  For those that don’t know where the Parrot Bard & Grill is, it is located on Rte 28A in Bourne.  If you are coming from Off-Cape, cross the Bourne Bridge and take Rte 28 to the Otis rotary.  Take the 1st exit off the rotary and then an immediate left turn and you are on Rte 28A.  The Parrot is about 3-4 miles down 28A.  It is just past the first big intersection.  There are two parking lots.  We can gather in the first parking lot.

If you are coming from Down Cape, take the Rte 51  to the North Falmouth exit, Route 151, at the Mashpee rotary (second exit).  Follow Rte 151 to Route 28A, just past the entrance/exit ramps  of Rte 28…don’t get onto Rte 28.  Turn right onto Rte 28A.  Go about 12-3 iles and the Parrot will be on the left.  Park in the parking lot on the far side of the restaurant.  Rag chew at 1:30, lunch at 12 noon.

Luncheon in Maine

The NEWN luncheon in Maine is coming this Saturday, August 11th at Stes’s camp at Little Pushaw Pond near Hudson ME.  If you are coming bring your own entree and beverages.  I’ll supply condiments, salads, and disposable dishes, napkins, and tableware.  Directions: click on the link below.  Be patient, the download has three pages and several pictures.

Getting to Camp – Copy


The document below was published in The Wanderer, a community paper from Southeastern Massachusetts and forwarded to me by Tom Carr, WA1KDD in Acushnet.  Bill Claflin showed me his collection on one of my visits to his home several years ago.  Dick, K1MGH

The Intricate Art of Scrimshaw 

By Caleb Jagoda

If one had asked me – a young college student not particularly knowledgeable in nautical history – what scrimshaw was before the Sippican Historical Society presentation at the Marion Music Hall on June 21, I would have chuckled, and a bit dumbfounded, guessed, does it have something to do with the grim reaper, or is it perhaps some eerie implement used in decapitation? Upon entering the Marion Music Hall Thursday night, I gazed upon the Claflin scrimshaw collection, heard the talk of whaling, and put all the pieces together. This wasn’t a fireside ghost story retelling, but rather a celebration of ‘Old Rochester’s’ roots to Tri-Town’s traditions, art, and folklore. Frank McNamee, president of the Sippican Historical Society, began his lecture by giving a brief overview of the history of whaling in Marion and the surrounding area. He soon eased into the art of scrimshaw, dishing out fun facts including how often many scrimshaw artists remained anonymous in their day and age and that scrimshaw art was primarily created between the 1830s and 1850s. He also spoke of the day the historical society first came across William Claflin’s scrimshaw collection, which turned out to be a very fun adventure for those involved. He retold the tale with enthusiasm, explaining how, a year and a half ago, the historical society’s museum curator Pete Smith asked McNamee if he knew of a William Claflin on Delano Road who had in his possession a veryfine collection of scrimshaw. He went on to describe how Claflin wanted to donate his father’s scrimshaw collection to the Sippican Historical Society on three conditions: the scrimshaw was to be displayed in his father’s 19th century cabinet, the scrimshaw was not to be sold under any conditions, and there was to be a bronze plate installed in his father’s name. At first, McNamee confided that he was very skeptical, but nonetheless agreed to go check out the. At first, McNamee confided that he was very skeptical, but nonetheless agreed to go check out the collection. When McNamee entered the Claflin house on Delano Road, he was blown away. In the 19th century cabinet lay over 100 pieces of scrimshaw, including intricate whale teeth art, meticulously designed pie crimpers, baleen corset stays, and much, much more. Of course, upon viewing the stunning collection, the two men from the historical society hastily agreed to Claflin’s conditions to honor Claflin, Sr. After all, even though the scrimshaw would never be sold, Claflin, Sr. purchased pieces that are now worth over thousands of dollars for only “eight, ten, and twenty dollars,” in the 1930s and 1940s, said McNamee. McNamee then proceeded to show some pictures from the collection and explain their history and importance. Many of the whale teeth are around six to eight inches long and hold quite extravagant images. These images include a magnificent variation, ranging from nautical whaling scenes to breathtaking portraits of women to serene nature scenes. With so many pieces of scrimshaw art, the Claflin collection is quite the historical smorgasbord. Some of the more valuable and impressive pieces even contain detailed images of towns, elaborate drawings of women in elegant dresses, and polychrome decorations, including scenes of Native Americans on horseback, and Napoleon little bit about their hometown history. So, while I wasn’t completely wrong in my first impression that scrimshaw may hold and display an eerily ghost-like past, I now know just how historically relevant and truly interesting scrimshaw is to the southeastern coast of Massachusetts.

Reproduced with the per;mission of The Wanderer


Congratulations to the members of the New England Weather Net and to one in particular, Jack Caron, W1AYX, our new Net Manager.

Jack Caron has been named the new Net Manager of the New England Weather Net  with overwhelming support from the members, all of the Net Controls, and myself.  Jack is a moving force in ham radio and emergency communications in the State of Maine.  He has a close relationship with the National Weather Service in Caribou, ME.  Additionally, Jack has a great deal of talent in Internet communications and has done a fantastic job revising and maintaining our web site, newenglandweathernet.com.

It is my opinion, supported by many of our regular members, that the report form on our website has been the salvation of the New England Weather Net  during this long period of terrible band propagation.  This was entirely the result of Jack’s efforts.

Please welcome Jack as he takes over on May 1st!  I have had a tremendously good time as your Net Manager for the past 7 or 8 years.  My mentor, Bill Claflin SK, a shortwave monitor, served as Nete Manger for a similar period of time and was an immense help to me as I got my feet on the ground.  I also owe a great deal of gratitude to another mentor, Rob Lyons, AB1NJ SK.  Rob provided a great deal of support when I had to deal with a disruptive member shortly after becoming Net Manager.

I would also like to thank those members who have participated as Net Controls, including Henry , K1WCC;  Joan, KC1KZ; Jack, W1AYX; Jon, N1MLF; tom, K1TL; Jack, N1HOS; Mike, W1MCT; Phil KE2EA SK, Pete, KA1GHF; Al, N1MHC; Doug, N1JBG; Jim, WA1KCC SK; Bill W1JLK SK; ED, W1UAZ SK; ART, K1TDY.    I apologize to any others I can’t remember!

During my time as Net Manager we have averaged approximately 12,000 check ins per year.  These years have had incredible growth in membership and in member participation.  I have had a great deal of fun leading the Net even though it has meant getting up at 4:45 AM 312 stimes so far this year!  My wife and I are returning to the fun that we have had exploring North America.  We sold our travel trailer almost two years ago and have now purchased a 35 foot motorhome.

Dick, K1MGH

Follow our travels at http://rawiklund.com