Friday, January 11 2013, 10:48 PM MST
Good Question: Why Are Some Snow Storms Fluffier Than Others
By Matt Gephardt
(KUTV) The concept behind snow is simple enough; when the temperature is cold, a storm produces snow as opposed to rain. But unlike rain which always feels wet, not all snow storms are created equal. Sometimes there are big fat flakes and other times there are little tiny ice crystals.
Why the difference? Good question.
According to 2News meteorologist Sterling Poulson, the kind of storm you are going to get all has to do with the amount of moisture in the air. He says, the more moisture, the bigger the flakes will be.
Meteorologists use weather balloons to gage the amount of moisture in the air but if you don't have your own weather balloon at home, Sterling says there is a way you can predict how big the flakes will be if you know what the temperature is going to be.
"The same amount of air doesn't hold as much water when it's cold,” Sterling said.
Take for example a snow storm when the air is 32 degrees versus a snow storm when the temperature is -32 degrees. Both temperatures are freezing and both temperatures will produce snow. But the air at 32 degrees will hold more moisture than the air at -32 degrees, thus the flakes will be larger.
So as the temperatures fall as they are expected to this weekend, if the precipitation continues, you can expect to see the flakes shrink in size.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)