Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Eve Snow

It's not often we get snow on Christmas, and it's even less often that we get it two years in a row.  Last Christmas, the middle of the country was graced with a powerful storm that spun into the area, sat on Iowa for a while, and went on its way, giving millions of people a white Christmas.  Although we didn't measure much snow from that system, it was impressive and memorable.  Here's a link from last year's post. 

This year's storm was a different beast.  It was faster, and gave us a beautiful wet snow all day Christmas Eve.  We were in Rolla visiting my family, and watching the snow falling slowly through the bare trees was awesome.  I took the liberty of bringing one of my extra rain gauges on our travel to measure the water content of the snow.  It was a wet 9.3 : 1 ratio.  Contrast that to the nearly 20 : 1 snow we had on the 11th.  Geez, if this snow had that ratio, our snow total would have more than doubled.  That made me wonder on our trip home...what is/are the factors that affect this ratio?  I assume primarilly temperature.  I also assume that one could accurately predict the type of snow based on this factor, which could end up saving cities money on salt/cinder they throw on the roads...but I digress.

In Rolla, I measured 2.8", which melted down to 0.30".  In Fulton, we ended up with 3.5" melting down to 0.37".  The roads are great...dry in fact, which I presume is a result of the wet snow.  That's what led me to my inquiries above during our drive home today.

Merry Christmas!


OSNW3 said...

A buddy of mine who is from STL commented on the snow over Christmas while he was down there visiting his family for the Holiday. He said it was wet. I was like, 'hey, I read that...' :)

I believe all you stated about the liquid ratio of snow to be true. One of my driest snowfalls came on Jan 22, 2008. 7.1" melting down to 0.36". The high that day was 12 and the low was 2.

Back to school, eh?

WxWatcher said...

:o) Yeah, that wet snow is my favorite. It just sticks to everything. I've been fascinated by water content of snow over the past few years. Wish I had more time to study it.

Lots been going on here in MO since my last post. Our internet has been down at home, so between that and traveling I haven't had a chance to post. Freezing fog, flooding rain, and tornadoes ended the year for us. It was a wild week!

Yep, back at school. We had a much needed break, and I'm glad to be back.