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21 votes

What is the steepest surface that can hold snow?

What's the minimum "uprightness" for it to not get obscured by snow and stay readable throughout the year? The answer to this problem is not in the angle at all. No amount of math will give ...
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  • 360
16 votes
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What is the steepest surface that can hold snow?

An object on an angular surface will fall off, when forces exerted along the slope (gravitational, tangent to the surface: gt) are greater then those pressing the object to the slope (gravitational, ...
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  • 434
16 votes
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Why snow is white?

Normal ice (as in refrigerated ice cubes) mostly has uniform crystalline structure - water molecules are in a perfect hexagonal grid, which enables it to be transparent. Not all ice is like that - ...
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15 votes

Why snow is white?

Snow has a very high albedo. Actually, it reflects all wavelengths of the visible spectrum, whilst absorbing no particular wavelength. Hence the eye averages out the multiple reflected wavelengths as '...
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13 votes

Transfer precipitation forecast in mm to expected snowfall in cm

@Peter Jansson provides a much more thorough answer, but for a quick conversion of expected liquid water equivalent to expected snow depth: 1 inch liquid water = 10 inches snow for warm storms 1 ...
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  • 231
11 votes
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Snowing when the actual temperature is around $\small\sf9^o$ Celsius

The clouds in which snow originates must of course be below the freezing point 0°C = 32°F. Two factors allow snow to reach the surface when the near-ground air temperature is above freezing. The ...
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11 votes
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What is the name of this landform?

This is a large glacier calving event. Calving occur at the front of the glacier, probably a very wet (and likely warm based) glacier where a considerable amount of water is flowing out of the system (...
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10 votes
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Snow from Fire: Could graupel, or even snow, fall from pyrocumulus clouds?

It is likely snowing somewhere in these clouds and graupel exist transiently on their way to becoming hail, but its not likely that you will see either at the surface. You can make a first order ...
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  • 13.9k
9 votes

Temperature rise when snowing

Snow fall can occur under several conditions. In this I am assuming conditions typical for mid to high latitudes. Association with cold-warm fronts are probably most common. Snow fall in mountainous ...
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8 votes
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How much of arctic ice is from snow fall versus frozen sea water?

I'm assuming this question is asking about the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean as opposed to ice caps such as that over Greenland. The sea ice on the Arctic Ocean is predominantly (overwhelmingly!) frozen ...
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8 votes
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Why is the snow line higher in the Himalayas than on the equator?

The permanent snow line is controlled by summer insolation, and during the summer the insolation is higher at 30°N than at the equator. See this figure from Fundamentals of Physical Geography (...
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7 votes

Snowing when the actual temperature is around $\small\sf9^o$ Celsius

As mentioned in the comments, the air temperature is the deciding factor. In the Troposphere, until ca. 15 km, the temperature decreases by about 6 °C per km altitude (more info on the lapse rate here)...
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6 votes
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Why doesn't it snow even when it is below freezing?

Farrenthorpe is right, a little surfing the net for snow distribution would clarify the picture for you. However, I think you are referring to certain times when it rains further north and snows ...
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6 votes
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How does salting roads help prevent ice?

Sodium chloride rock salt, NaCl, is usually used for de-icing roads. As mentioned in another answer, the dissolved ions lower the freezing point of water. Other kinds of salt are also used. Calcium ...
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  • 4,319
5 votes

Why can't radar's decibel scale be used to determine the intensity of snowfall?

Snow, unlike rain, has holes as well as different refractive properties. This allows the radar beam to penetrate and reflect the beam differently than an ordinarily oblate rain drop.
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5 votes
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Snow on a relatively warm day

Not being a winter precipitation expert by any stretch (we avoid such silliness in Florida!), I think a significant key may be the "the humidity is low (40%)" part. When winter precipitation ...
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4 votes

Why can't radar's decibel scale be used to determine the intensity of snowfall?

The returned energy which is measured by the radar is given by the so-called "radar equation" which states that: $P_r=\frac{CK_w^2}{r^2}\sum_{i=1}^Nn_iD_i^6$ Here $C$ is "just" ...
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  • 391
4 votes
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Had the climatologists predicted climate change as the deviations to both extremely cold and hot temperatures before?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change summarizes the state of scientific understanding of climate change every few years and at least as far back as 2002 has projected a range of changes in ...
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  • 3,129
4 votes

Is there a minimum snow depth to be considered as presence of snow?

A measureable amount of precipitation is considered to be at least 0.01 inch of water. Since on the average 10 inches of snow melt to 1 inch of water, this corresponds on the average to 0.1 inch of ...
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3 votes

Antarctica Exploration

What would you have an Antarctic rover do? How would you protect it from falling down a crevasse, some of which are totally obscured? What would you like to be found in Antarctica? Yes, Antarctica is ...
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  • 21.8k
3 votes

Temperature rise when snowing

Addressing your hypotheses in order, I'll start with (1) cloud cover. Here you can differentiate firstly between day and night time. While during the day, clouds will reduce heating of the ground by ...
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  • 89
3 votes

Is snow less likely to appear at a coastal area?

I don't know if someone has conducted statistical research on this. It certainly depends on the situation. Here are some situations: More snow in coast Like @gerrit commented, elevation increases ...
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  • 1,043
3 votes

Why doesn't it snow even when it is below freezing?

Gordon has an excellent answer to one version of your Q. In case you are asking a more basic Q, here is a try at an answer. Vini, think about the monsoons. Cooling the soggy parcel of air causes rain,...
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  • 1,177
3 votes

'River-effect' snow

This effect seems to be similar to the "lake effect snow". The main difference between those two effects is the body of water involved hence the difference in name. In rather general terms: The cold ...
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3 votes
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Can I use radar data to estimate snowfall, or is there a better way?

Full disclosure: Being in Florida, I don't spend as much time watching winter weather, and don't have great experience correlating radar precipitation totals to actual snowfall. Is it spring yet? ...
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3 votes
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What is the better way to deal the missing and negative cells of satellite snow cover data

You could fill the gaps with the analysis products of numerical weather prediction. NCAR for example (RDA UCAR) hosts the NCEP North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) with data from 1979 to 2018 ...
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  • 438
3 votes
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Is there a maximum size for a single snowflake?

According to Caltech physics professor Kenneth G. Libbrecht's site SnowCrystals.com This monster is, to my knowledge, the largest snow crystal ever photographed. It measures 10.1 mm (0.4 inches) ...
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