Snow on Foam
We got about 4.5″ of snow. The snow on the ground melted away completely. The snow on the 2″ thick piece of pink foam melted much less leaving some remaining. Both the ground and the foam were exposed to the sun. This little observation demonstrates something very interesting – it is not the sun that is melting the snow but the heat coming up from the earth. Warm toes.
Of related interest, when I move a large round bale in the middle of the winter the ground under the bale is soft. It isn’t frozen. Growing up I remember hearing people talk about the frost depth being 3′. The reality on frost depth is quite shallow here on the mountain because of our early deep snows the frost only penetrates about 3″ to 4″ down. The snow acts to insulate the ground from the cold winter air.
I’ve discovered this as I often end up digging holes through it in the middle of the winter. That top few inches of frozen soil is like stone. But under that the soil is soft and easy to dig even by hand. Fortunately the tractor backhoe cuts right through that top layer of rock hard frozen soil.
I used this principle to protect our water line when I buried it about eight years ago. We could only go down 6″ in some places before hitting ledge. By placing 4″ of closed cell insulation above the water lines and then 6″ of dirt we were able to protect our water lines from freezing.
I also used this discovery to protect our earth air tubes so that the warm of the soil heats the winter air for our home.
Outdoors: 42°F/27°F Sunny, 1/2″ snow
Farm House: 54°F/46°F
Tiny Cottage: 56°F/50°F