Friday, May 30, 2008

The City Most Distant from Snow in the World

Now how's that for a tortured title!

Anyway .... as some of you know, I like to think of myself as a snowboarder. In my case, this means I might, if I am very lucky, get to the snow for 5 days once a year. A long time ago, I purchased a snowboard (and posted about that snowboard) for my occasional snow trips, and although it has been used a few times, it now reclines lazily on a shelf in my laundry, doing very little to earn its keep.

It occurred to me the other day while meditating on the laziness of my snowboard, that my snowboard, which currently lives in Perth, Western Australia, could well be the snowboard most distant from snow, anywhere in the world. So I tried to work out where was the most snow deprived place on earth.

As it turns out, this is not as easy as it sounds. I am around 2900km from the nearest snow (the Alpine National Park in Victoria, Australia). So I was trying to find a location more than 2900km from snow.

Anywhere in Europe is in spitting distance from snow, so I've ignored Europe in this post. Africa, one would think, is pretty snow deprived, but using the National Geographic's very cool Map Machine to work out where snow fell on an average year, I worked out that there is nowhere in Africa more distant from snow than I am. This is largely due to small area of snow fall in Kenya, Morocco and South Africa that mean that all of Africa is close to snow than me.

Some spots in Asia would seem a bit snowless, but the side is let down by Vietnam with it's occasional snowfall, Myanmar's Himalaya, and Indonesia's glaciers.

At the end of the day, the only spots I could work out that would be further from snow might be some areas in Brazil on the Eastern coast and maybe somewhere like the Cook Islands in the middle of the Pacific. Even Fiji is nearer to NZ's snow fields than I am to Australias. So there it is. Unless someone in Brazil has a snowboard in their shed, my snowboard in Perth is the world's most distant from snow. Now there's a sorry distinction.

Note: The final map on this page shows Perth (the blue flag) and range circles of 2900km around areas of snow fall in red. If a city falls inside a red circle then it is less than 2900km from snow and therefore closer to snow than Perth. Just bear in mind that from Turkey to China is range of mountains continually capped in snow, most of Europe has snow fall and nowhere in the US is more than 2000km from snow.

Attribution: I used Free Map tools with Google Maps and the
National Geographic's Map Machine to decide if my snowboard was the most snow deprived.

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