Ask Storm Team 11: What is a snow ratio?


Tuesday’s Ask Storm Team 11 question was “What is a Snow Ratio?”

Not all snows are created equal. Some are lighter and fluffier and others are wetter and heavier.

Snow ratios compare the amount of liquid water vs. snowfall amounts.

If you have a 10:1 snow ratio and a trace of water, you get a trace or a dusting of snow. If on the other hand you have 0.1 inches of water, you’d have 1 inch of snow. Given that 10:1 ratio, it’s a heavy, wet snow that’s good for snowball fights. We often see an 8:1 or 10:1 ratio here in the southern Appalachians.

The snow is fluffy and powdery when there’s a 20:1 ratio, but it’s also easier to pile up. This is more common in the Rockies. So if you have 0.1″ of water, you’d have 2 inches of snow!

In a perfect world, when there’s a 10:1 ratio, if you have 0.32″ of liquid equivalent translating to 3.2″ of snow without considering variables such as temperatures throughout the atmosphere.

Have a question for Storm Team 11? Click here to submit!

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