So, How Many Inches Of Snow Does An Inch Of Rain Actually Equal?
How many times have you said to someone, or someone said to you, 'I'd rather have rain than snow'? I've probably said it more times myself than I can even remotely count. Half the time I'm not even sure I really mean it. It's just one of those things you say in the winter time when it rains, as opposed to straight up complaining about snow.
But seriously... How many inches of snow does one inch of rain equal? I always thought the answer was pretty simple, and in some ways it is. The standard answer is 10 inches of snow equals one inch of rain. But, apparently that answer becomes a bit more flexible depending on the temperature, according to NASA.
For instance, the 10:1 ratio we were just discussing, works if the temp stays just under freezing, around 30 degrees. But, drop the temp down to 18 degrees, and all of a sudden the ratio becomes 20:1. If we go down even further to -10 degrees, then it would require 50 inches of snow to equal one inch of rain. Crazy, right?
So that also answers why sometimes we have droughts in Maine. We usually are relatively exempt from that sort of thing, but if we had a really cold and dry winter, it would take a pretty massive amount of snow cover to keep the water table up. So really, we should be praying for good snowy winters, and damp springs and falls.
But now you know, if someone decides to quiz you. Most people will only know the common ratio of 10:1. But now you're armed with knowledge. You can now be the quizzer instead of the quizzee.