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Water via Snow in Warren

January 4, 2013

An “average” snow to liquid ratio is 10:1
It’s a rough way of saying if 10 inches of snow fell and then melted
it would be equivalent to 1 inch of liquid precipitation in a rain gauge.

Wet snow when ground temps are above freezing
– A snow flake needs to be made of 50% ice
or it’s basically considered a raindrop.
Big large snowflakes indicate they are sticking together
and you’ll generally see fewer flakes.
If the ground temperature is above freezing the snowflakes
merely melt, resulting in a snow event with no accumulations.

Wet snow when ground temperatures are below freezing
– Usually these weather conditions result in a ratio less than 10:1
maybe a 6:1 perhaps where kids will rejoice by making big snowmen.
The snowflakes will be slightly sticky resulting in accumulation

Dry snow
– These are the flakes that blow around a lot, since they are not sticky.
Generally the ratio will be above 10:1 and the snowflakes will be fluffy
with air pockets between the snow crystals.

If you’re really interested in the micro-physics of it all,
I found a great site explaining it all in detail with illustrations.

http://www.weather.gov/media/ctp/HISA/SnowMicroPhysics.ppt

Frozen ground, (already saturated with water) , along with a heavy rainfall
can cause a large amount of water to enter the storm drains and waterways.
This can result in extremely swift dangerous current that is ice cold.

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