Larry's Blog

What is the warmest it can snow?

Many people have seen it snow well over 32 degrees. Its true it can snow above 32. The best Ive seen is snow in the lower 40s. You may wonder how this can happen. In the mid latitudes, most precipitation starts as snow in the clouds, then melts as it hits air above 32 -- landing as rain in the lowlands. It snows in the Cascades when the snow never meets any substantial above freezing air.

When the snow falls from high in the clouds and hits air above freezing (but very dry air), the snowflake stays frozen because the dry air cools the falling snowflake, by evaporation. As a result, you can see it snow well above 32, if the air is dry enough. But it usually doesnt last long, as the process humidifies the air, working to suppress the above freezing snowfall. Theoretically, the warmest it can snow is 51 degrees

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