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How Much Snow Would That Have Been?

It's an age old question that always seems to come up at this time of year.

As soon as the temperatures begin to drop, or when we get to the holiday season, it's inevitable that we'll hear the question.

When the moisture arrives as rain, especially long rains, more than one someone will say, "Gee, I'm glad that came as rain.  Can you imagine how much snow that would have been?"

Immediately in your mind's eye, you go to mounds and mounds of wind swept snow, piled high, clogging city streets.

And then the question gets repeated, "How much snow WOULD that have been?"

The problem is that there is no one answer. 

The amount and depth of snowfall is dependent upon so many factors that we can't give a one to one corresponding depth.

How warm was the air?

How much moisture was there before, and after the snow fall?

How long does it last?

How warm was the ground?  Did it melt a lot?

Was the salt already spread on the roadway?

Did the sun come out?  Was the entire ground covered?

But inevitably, someone will insist on getting an estimate, because they've heard other weather people do similar things in the past.

So, the next time you're at a cocktail party, and somebody asks the eternal question, "How much snow would that have been?"  you can explain.

Or, take the easy way out... "1 inch of rain could make 10 inches of snow".

They'll go away happy, even if it wasn't true.

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