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Can It Snow With Surface Temperatures Above Freezing?

9:22 PM, Nov 13, 2013   |    comments
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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- It is not uncommon to see snow in the Triad during the winter months, but have you ever noticed that sometimes there will be snow even though temperatures are above freezing?

As strange as it might sound, temperatures on the ground do not need to be below freezing or even in the 30s for snow to fall from the sky. As long as temperatures are below freezing above the Earth's surface and the appropriate amount of moisture is available snow can form.

If the layer of above freezing temperatures at the surface is shallow enough or not too warm, snow flakes will not melt before they reach the ground. However, if that layer of above freezing temperatures is too thick or too warm the snowflakes will melt into a cold rain before reaching the surface.

The thickness and temperature of different layers of the atmosphere is dependent on many different things, including frontal boundaries, terrain, time of day, winds, moisture content, etc... All of these factors must be monitored to have a better understanding of ultimately what type of precipitation can be expected on the ground.

WFMY News 2

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