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NW Snow Buddy iPhone app: How To

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Hey all, I wanted to post to explain how I use the new NW Snow Buddy iPhone app. I wrote the app to make checking snow related resources easier, so the following is roughly the steps I take to figure out where and when to ski good snow.

 

Starting from the home page of the app:

 

example_home.jpg

 

I'll usually check the Snowfall Predictions area first to see what the general snowfall amounts are going to be over the next few days across the state. When I looked on February 26th, 2011 I was stoked to see this:

 

snow1.jpg

snow2.jpg

 

This told me that Monday the 28th ("+2 Days Snowfall") was going to be an amazing day for skiing, and that Sunday the 27th ("+1 Day Snowfall") would have some new snow but not as much.

 

 

I'll then usually check the Weather Forecasts section for the NOAA point forecast where I'm going to be skiing. In this case, Sunday night was calling for 10-16 inches over night!

 

example2_wx.jpg

 

 

This is all well and good if you are planning ahead and looking at what's coming. If you want to look back at what snow has already fallen, you'll want to use the Telemetry Data section. The data here is simply the NWAC weather data (precipitation, temperature, wind, 24 hour snowfall) shown all together in a single graph. This is what the snow looked like for Monday (the 28th) at Crystal Mountain:

 

example2_crystal.jpg

 

The graph is a little confusing to read at first because there is a lot of data packed into a small space. I'd suggest that you read this explanation first. That page contains a graphic that explains the axes of the graph and some example data. For the above graph:

 

(-) you can see from the 24 hours cumulative snowfall plot (green dots) that there was a total of about 16" of snow at 6am on the morning of the 28th. rad!

 

(-) the temperatures (orange/red lines) at 4480' (base of crystal) and 6870' (the top) stayed in the low teens to low 20s Fahrenheit.

 

(-) the winds (vertical black bars) were pretty high Sunday (the 27th) night, averaging in the upper 30s with gusts up over 50mph! The winds conveniently calmed down to around 10mph for the daylight hours on Monday.

 

(-) the blue bars are precipitation per hour. half way up the graph = 1 inch per hour, all the way up the graph = 2 inches per hour. 3am-5am on the 28th saw 1.75 inches of snow an hour. sick!

 

(-) the fun didn't stop Sunday night, as we can see by the green dots that another 12" or so had fallen by the end of Monday the 28th.

 

 

Still confused about the graphs? Touch the "Explain Graph" button from any Telemetry graph view to get a reminder of what things are.

 

Here is Alpental's graph for the storm that happened the week before. Essentially, 8-12 inches each day:

 

example2_alpental.jpg

 

 

Finally, NWAC only shows the previous 10 days of data. With NW Snow Buddy, you can look back at all the data for the entire year. Simply touch the "Edit Dates" button on a Telemetry graph view and you'll get the following screen:

 

example1_datepick.jpg

 

You can select the length of time the graph shows here, up to 5 days.

 

 

For a less epic powder example, here was a really nice day at Crystal (the 5th) with 8 inches over night. Note the little bit of warming on the 5th--good info to have as you arrive so you know to stay on higher, shaded aspects.

 

example1.jpg

 

If you have more questions or want more information, visit the website: http://www.nwsnowbuddy.com/

 

I hope some of you will find it as useful as I do.

 

Dave

 

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This is really top notch.

 

Feature idea: Calculate the best place to go skiing (by region?), based on recent and predicted telemetry, and ordered by avalanche risk, over a set date range.

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This looks amazing...

 

I can't tell from the description or the screenshots, but are Oregon areas included? What about backcountry areas (i.e. places with weather stations but not resorts, like St Helens)? If so, I'm sold!

 

Nice work!

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Dude, its 3 dollars...do you really need to be sold on it?

 

Anyway, it has all the hood stuff just like on nwac.

 

thanks Dave, looks great.

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Wow, Dave excellent work!

 

Any chance we'll see an Android app down the road for the non-IPhoners amongst us?

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Dan- Yep, working on it for this fall!

 

scheissami - like Kevino mentioned, it draws data from all of the NWAC sites, so many areas in Northern Oregon are covered. What I would like to do is expand the weather forecast link section for Oregon, so if you have other point forecasts (http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/sew/) that you'd like to see added, drop me a line.

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Nice... Just downloaded it and have been poking around on it. I really like the inclusion of the avy rose on the telemetry section. Strong work!

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I took a lot of the comments from here and emails and incorporated them into a new version that is available now.

 

Changes include:

- sick day racoon lines can now be removed. Note: only available on iPhone 4 w/ the LED flash

- now a native app on the iPad

- works with devices down to iOS 3.0

- You can now view the raw data for Telemetry graphs

- Added several Weather Forecast locations, including the Spokane, Idaho, and the Wallowas.

- Added hourly forecast graphs for all Weather Forecast sites

- Added the NWAC Mountain Forecast

- Added several Satellite loops

- Created a Web Cams section with many sites through Washington, Oregon and BC

 

promo codes - get 'em while they're hot! (if you use one, consider writing a review)

MLR9K9HXE3M4

L94NXPRHPF9H

PKM7WP76KPFT

 

and feel free to post here or email me suggestions: info@nwsnowbuddy.com

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Note: there was a small error in the temperature graphing that is now fixed.

 

Also, hope to have an android version out later this winter.

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