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This is based on the wet snow that fell across Algonquin Park. The heavy snowfall was associated with a large low pressure area with strong winds. The wind was unable to penetrate into the forest so the snow simply stayed where it landed. This is the best place to measure snowfall with a "snow board" and not the type that you go downhill on.
In the case of the spruce trees, the heavy and wet snow dragged the branches down as though the trees were shrugging their shoulders. The lowest branches had been pinned all winter to the snow and ice on the ground. The lowest branches were almost permanently trained to reach for the ground by the winter's snowfall. This natural teepee is a great place for creatures to find some shelter. This particular spruce tree is in the Limberlost Nature Preserve just off the South Limberlost Road.
This snow event wasn't well forecast at all and persisted a full day after it was supposed to stop. The northwesterly winds turned the event into snowsqualls off Georgian Bay and I guess that no one was expecting that much instability off the water after a long winter of cooling - especially the computer simulations of the atmosphere.
February 13th, 2016
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