4th December 2019

nsidc
18

Is it warm under the snow?

The snow surface temperature is controlled by the air temperature above. In addition, snow is a good insulator, just like the insulation in the ceiling of a house, and thus slows the flow of heat from the warm ground to the cold air above.

Keeping this in view, is it cold when it snows?

It is true, however, that most heavy snowfalls occur when there is relatively warm air near the ground—typically -9 degrees Celsius (15 degrees Fahrenheit) or warmer—since warmer air can hold more water vapor. Because snow formation requires moisture, very cold but very dry areas may rarely receive snow.

What temperature is it too cold to snow?

Most heavy snowfalls happen with relatively warm air temperatures near the ground -- usually at 15 degrees F or above. When the temperature drops into the single digits, or below zero, heavy snow is unlikely. That's not because it's too cold, but because its too dry.
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