|Snow Making & Grooming at Nub's Nob|
Great Snow! It's the single most important ingredient at a ski/snowboard resort and the #1 priority at Nub's Nob. Without great snow, nothing else matters. While our natural snowfall average hovers around the 123” per year mark, artificial snowmaking is still the lifeblood of the area. Our experience, commitment and dedication to producing the finest man made snow surfaces is the cornerstone of our mission.
The Basics of Snow
The Basics of Snowmaking
From here, the process is similar to Mother Nature's: the small droplets of water mix together, freeze and fall to the ground as snow crystals. The only difference is that the water doesn't have as much time to freeze before it hits the ground. It takes a massive snowmaking system managed by an experienced crew to make the great snow you are used to at Nub’s.
Physics Lesson: What makes water freeze?
When liquid water freezes, the water gives off heat until it reaches the point at which it crystallizes. We generally assume this will happen at precisely 32 degrees Fahrenheit - which it in fact does only under highly controlled circumstances.
When we look out the window at our thermometer, we see what meteorologists refer to as dry bulb temperature. It may give us guidance on how to dress, but when it comes to the physics of freezing water droplets, it doesn't tell the whole story. The amount of moisture in the air - relative humidity - also impacts how quickly a water droplet will give off heat and become "cold".
The way the human body is affected by heat and humidity gives some insight. On a summer day with an 80 degree temperature and a 95 percent relative humidity, we feel hot. That's because our bodies are cooled by sweating - giving off warm moisture into the atmosphere. On a humid day, the air won't absorb as much moisture, so our bodies simply can't lose heat as fast as we can on a 90 degree day with 20 percent relative humidity. That's why we can feel cooler on a "warmer" day. When people say "it's not the heat, it's the humidity" - they're not fooling.
The speed with which a droplet of water radiates heat into the atmosphere and becomes snow is affected by relative humidity in exactly the same way.
As a result, modern snowmakers have less interest in the dry bulb temperature than the wet bulb temperature, which is a mathematical function of dry bulb temperature and relative humidity. When the atmosphere is saturated and cannot hold anymore moisture, the dry bulb and wet bulb temperatures are exactly the same. This is also known as the dew point. But when humidity is extremely low, the wet bulb temperature may be subfreezing - less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit - when the dry bulb temperature is as high as 40 degrees. This makes it occasionally possible to make snow at temperatures well above "freezing," and can prevent us from making snow on some nights when the temperature is below freezing but the humidity is high.
It takes a lot of water to make snow.
It takes a lot of snow guns to make snow.
It takes a lot of electricity to make snow.
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