Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sunny Day Feels Like February

Now that we got -20°C I can say it feels like winter. But as I was riding about I somehow got the feeling that it was like in February. I guess it is the increase in sunlight and the cold temperatures that makes me feel so. But just look at these pictures: there's hardly any snow and it's late January. Weird.

When I was taking these pictures in the park I got the idea to take a picture of the long shadows. Well the shadows cast by the trees and such were too tall for my purposes, so I had to find a twig and stick it in the snow. Then I realized the twig wasn't very visible (no leaves :-) so I stuck a piece of paper on it. Hmm, white paper and white snow...? Look for the footsteps in the middle and you might notice it.
A few minutes with Gimp to add some lines to show the plot. Gimp has a measuring tool which gives the angle as 5 degrees. Sun was  5 degrees above horizon at after 1pm. Copying files around lost the timestamp so the time is inaccurate at the moment. But maybe someone can calculate the time if he knows sun was 5 degrees high, Oulu lies 65 degrees north. :-)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Sunshine coming up!

The weather has been nasty for almost the whole of 2014 so far. Temperatures around freezing or even above it, cloudy, raining water and sleet. Although there was some days with snow coming down, there wasn't much snow left anywhere. About the only wintery thing left was the ice everywhere, and even that was melting. (The climate change: it melts glaciers! :-)

So instead of pretty white snow everywhere, we had slosh and ice until they melted. On some areas the ground had frozen already, meaning it was impermeable for the water. Puddles in the city, new mini lakes in the fields, flooding rivers in the coastal plains. The flood damage is minimal, but there will be some damage from the ice on the fields. (The ice will freeze the grass and block the oxygen getting through, choking the plants. Fluffy snow works as an insulation, solid ice does not.)

Now the low pressure zones have shifted and the wind is coming from the north east. Nice cold air from the north. The forecast says -10C to -20C for the next few days. I think even the Russian tourists who came to Finland for New Year Holiday would be satisfied. 
Anyway, here's a picture to match the topic, taken yesterday. Even though the sun is up for about four and a half hours (half an hour more from the solstice already), it certainly wasn't up yesteday, at 11pm.  There was an inch of fresh snow and I was one of the few people about, so I thought I would snap a few pictures of fresh tracks on the bikeway.
Ok, so taking a pic with the flash on didn't work. I tried other settings, too, and here's a better shot.
All white now, and the bikeways underneath were not very slippery either. Snow on smooth ice can be slippery, but either there wasn't much ice, or there was plenty of gritting sand, too. I think it's even possible the sand was frozen into the ice, creating a sandpaper like surface.

I'm not sure if they used sharp-edged gritting sand or maybe I rode on somewhere I shouldn't have, (the gritters are supposed to use tyre friendly sand on bikeways) but I've got some patching to do today. There's a leak in the tyre... sigh.