Monday, January 10, 2011

Let It Snow! Let it Snow! Let it...Tweet?

Here in the NorthEast we're preparing for another good snowstorm.  So it's the perfect time to talk about SnowTweets, a relatively new project that collects snow depth information from users across the globe.  All you need is a ruler, some snow, a twitter account, and you're in business.

The data is collected in near real-time and can be viewed with the special Snowbird visualization tool the team has created.  So you can quickly see your published measurements and compare it to snowfall measurements around the world.  This helps the science team test snowfall data obtained from satellites, confirm the measurements, and validate weather models used to forecast snowfall.

Getting started is easy:
  1. Measure the snow outside your house with a standard household ruler.  Look for an undisturbed, representative area patch of snow for your measurement.  More detailed measuring instructions can be found on the SnowTweets: How To: Measure section of the web site.
  2. Log on to your twitter account (or sign up for a new's easy!)
  3. Publish your snow measurement on your twitter account with the following protocol: #snowtweets at .  Or go to the  SnowTweets: How To web site for more detailed instructions and examples on the snowtweets protocol.
  4. That's all there is to it!  Now go build a snowman, fire off some snowballs, and have fun in the snow you just measured!
Hopefully I'll be able to join this project in the near future...I just need some good snow to cover the lawn first.