Welcome to SNOW 4.0

SNOW 4.0

SNOW 4.0 is the temporary testing grounds created to replace the legacy application SNOW 3.0 which is no longer supported.

Moving SNOW to this online site enables us to gather data from a broader source, allowing entry from both internal and external partners. Login and registration is controlled so only those individuals with a valid interest in entering or querying the data will have access to any pages beyond this home page.

If you have SNOW data to enter, please proceed to login (or register if this is your first visit) using the links above. Upon registration a confirmation email will be sent to you and our web administrator validating your email address and providing the opportunity to confirm your registration.

If you run into any problems with this site, please contact the web administrators and let them know. Also, if you have suggestions on how to make this site more useful to you, just send me an email and I’ll do my best to help.

History of the SNOW Network

A snow network has been operating in Ontario since 1952, providing information about provincial winter severity. Efforts have been made to ensure adequate provincial representation (mainly by research staff), but the operation of individual courses has depended largely on the perceived values to local staff, and funding.

Although the Snow Network for Ontario Wildlife (SNOW) was designed primarily for use in deer management, the data generated can be used by wildlife managers to monitor the effects of winter conditions on many wildlife species. It will help the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources And Forestry (OMNRF) meet the requirements of the Terms and Conditions of the Timber EA by helping to understand population trends of indicator forest species. The information aids in management decisions regarding game harvest limits and regulations, and reintroduction programs for such economically important species as deer, moose, wild turkey and elk. The financial investment and income generated by hunting deer, moose and other game can be protected by effective population management which includes SNOW data.

Up to three types of measurements are taken at each snow course. 1) Winter chill is measured with a chillometer and assesses the effects of wind and temperature in terms of metabolic costs. 2) Snow penetration gauges are used to measure sinking depth or the depth to which deer will sink in accumulated snow. 3) Snow depth and crust conditions are recorded at all stations.

Winter severity can affect deer and other wildlife populations in several ways. Deep snow and severe crust conditions may restrict animal movement and forage availability , resulting in a reduced carrying capacity of deer yards and increased winter mortality due to starvation. Severe conditions may also result in increased fawn mortality in the spring.

Snow courses are set up according to a set of standard guidelines, and collected data is managed, archived, and accessed for analysis using this website.