As it to be expected, Weather, Seasons, and the Land Surveyor are inexplicably intertwined and the firs two ultimately control how and when the third can work.
Sunny clear days, although pleasing to the eye and your mental health can have negative effects on fieldwork. While it can illuminate much of the world, it can also create shadows that are difficult to see into. Standing in a bright, sunny field and looking for a property corner in the shadowed woods can be difficult to impossible.
Gets everything wet. While you can protect yourself and your equipment to some degree, eventually, if you are working in rain, you will get wet. Being that surveying is an outdoor activity, we are expected to dress appropriately for the weather. Short of a scuba dry suit, nothing really will keep you dry and as most of us know, when you’re cold and wet, you don’t perform well.
Another aspect of rain is the mud it creates. Not only is it nasty and annoying, it can be slick. Mud isn’t the only thing rain makes treacherous to walk in. When leaves and pavement and leaves on pavement get wet they get very slick. It can be hard enough to walk, unencumbered, over these surfaces, but when you are carrying $10,000 worth of equipment, it is almost impossible.
One issue of rain is that just because it isn’t falling from the skies anymore, it can “rain” in the woods for hours afterwards.
What makes snow beautiful also makes it so difficult to work in. Forgetting the issues of driving in it, snow obscures everything. It blankets the ground and makes it all pretty and clean. It also covers property corners, flagging, old downed fences, and countless other evidence necessary for surveyor to do their job.
There are also the hazards of snow. Snow can be slick. Snow can make tripping hazards unseen and incregardeases their potential danger. As much of surveying in East Tennessee is done on the side of a hill, slipping can be a serious issue.
Extreme temperatures have obvious physical effects on people. Although personnel who typically work outside will have various clothing designed to protect from these extremes, there is only so many clothes you can remove in the heat and only so much clothes you can add in the cold and still be able to move.
Survey equipment has, like most other electro/mechanical devices, usable operating temperatures. Topcon (the manufacturer of my Total Stations) advertises -4°F to +122°F. While these seem extreme, it is nothing for temperatures to reach over 120 in the summer when in the direct sun and on asphalt or in a field.
These temperatures are for the safe functioning of the electronics. It says nothing of the grease that lubes the mechanics. This grease has frozen on the job and required thawing the instrument out in the truck to finish the job. What it also doesn’t state is that batteries are very susceptible to temperature extremes and don’t function long in either.
According to https://www.landscapingpeterborough.com wind creates its own trouble. Not only does it intensify temperatures, it decreases the stability of our equipment. It is almost impossible to stand still and hold a prism pole plumb with gusting winds. Too much wind and the total station can become unleveled.
Beyond these troubles, there is the problem of falling objects. Wind has the tendency to dislodge limbs and other debris hanging in trees.
Summer is the busiest time of year for surveyors. People are moving, building, and landscaping – All things that can require the use of a surveyor. Unfortunately, the heat can get unbearable.
Leaves are coming down, increasing visibility and temperatures are easing out, making working more bearable. Problems arise when colors that normally stood out, like orange, start to blend in the leaves. Football and hunting seasons are in full swing, both of which tend to deter crewmembers from wanting to work. Then there’s the rain. Late summer into early fall can bring quite a bit of precipitation and therefore rain delays.
The cold is here but the leaves are gone. As long as the temperatures stay acceptable, winter is the best time for surveying. We can see through the woods almost like an open field. But temperature rarely agree and clothing can become cumbersome to the point of restricting movement. Rain and snow become quite a scheduling headache in the winter as well.
The flowers are blooming, the temperatures are raising, and the rain is falling. Spring is a great time to be in the woods, surveying and landscaping. The leaves haven’t popped out yet and the temperatures are usually quite agreeable. When the rain lets you work, it is a rather enjoyable experience.
Then there are allergies. These can slow a crew down as much as a wall of mountain laurel.
As can be seen, there is no one perfect season. They all have their ups and downs. Just be aware that your local surveyor doesn’t have control of the weather or the seasons and these factors can affect the timing (and sometimes the cost) of you project.