Snow Depth Tutorial

Snow Depth Parameter

This parameter shows the snow depth at a location in centimeters. Snowfall increases the snow depth, snowmelt decreases the snow depth. Changing the forecast hour shows how the snow depth changes in a region.

The right snow depth for photos

To make really good landscape photographs of snow, the snow depth should be at least 10cm. Without such a snow depth, leaves and sticks won’t be covered with snow. The foreground of your images will look pretty messy, as you can see in the example.

Color overlay

The color overlay shows how much snow is and should be at which location. The color value at a given location can be translated into a snow depth using the scale. When the color overlay is loaded, a small loading icon appears at the bottom right of the map. If there is no snow in a region, the map will remain empty in that region.

The scale shows the snow depth to the color value of the color overlay.

Topography and snow depth

Snow is more frequent in the mountains, which is why the parameter always shows a greater snow depth there. It is therefore important to use the “Outdoor” background map. This background map shows contour lines. With the contour lines you can easily see at which altitude there is the most snow.

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Forecast time and snow depth

This parameter calculates the snow depth for a specific point in time. If there will be snow fall in near future, the snow depth will increase in a specific area. When you change the forecast hour you will see changes in snow depth.

change time of weather forecast fog height

Common things about weather forecast you should know!

Computer Simulation

The weather forecast in VIEWFINDR is a computer simulation that very realistically forecasts the coming weather. However, the forecast is not exactly the reality and there will be deviations.

In VIEWFINDR new weather data is provided every 3h. For example, if you check for the probability of afterglow after sunset in the morning hours, the forecast will change several times over day. This is perfectly normal and that’s a good thing!

The closer the deadline, i.e. the sunset in the evening, the smaller the deviation of the computer simulation from reality becomes. The forecast becomes more precise. Before you finally set out to take pictures, you should therefore take another look at the current forecast.

You should therefore check the forecast again before you start your photography tour to see, if the probability is still high. Don’t be mad if the forecast probability changed into worse, it probably saved you from a bad outcome!

The weather forecast in VIEWFINDR is limited to 24h for local weather models and 72h for continental weather models. It is not useful to look into the future for a longer period. The forecast becomes inaccurate and is not reliable. Weather apps that allow forecasts of more than 3 days but do not provide any indication that the forecast is extremely inaccurate are a disgrace. This gives the

Weather Data Resolution

Just as the resolution of your camera is limited, i.e. it cannot take an “infinitely” sharp photo, the resolution of the weather model is also limited. This is 2.8km for Central European weather data and 7km for European weather data.

Structures and features of the landscape that are not that large are averaged by the model. For example, if a mountain is 800m high, and the valley next to it is 400m high, then the landscape for the weather model in that “pixel” is 600m high, corresponding to the average altitude.

This means that small structures, like narrow mountain valleys or local small river valleys cannot be properly captured by the model. This is not a problem, you just have to learn to deal with it. If a valley in the mountains is much smaller than the resolution of our weather model, then you have to interpolate.

Small valleys always end in larger valleys. You can therefore use the weather in the next larger valley as a good reference for the weather in a smaller, adjacent valley. In the example, you can see that the large valley is filled with fog. It is almost certain that the small valley is also filled with fog.

Due to the limited resolution, it makes sense not to use too much zoom. It is important that you look at the overall context. Therefore, consider the weather forecast not only for your location, but at least for the entire region where you are shooting.

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This example show how the weather model sees the landscape. It is pixelated because of the limited resolution.

weather forecast for photo spots

Due to limited resolution, this layer of low clouds/fog will not indicate fog in valleys with a size below the resolution.