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Why Does Snow Melt in Sub-Freezing Temperatures?

Have you ever wonder why snow melts even when it is below freezing?

Posted: Jan 18, 2021 1:30 PM
Updated: Jan 25, 2021 1:44 PM

The midpoint of winter is now upon us. Mid-January is usually one the snowiest points of the year for the Tri-State. On average Evansville receives about 3.2 inches of snow for the first month of the year. As of January 18th, the River City has received just slightly over a half an inch of snow for the winter season. The flakes may look gorgeous falling from the sky. However, the biggest gripe many snow lovers across the area may have is the lack of accumulation. In some wintery weather scenarios in the Tri-State snow sometimes refuses to stick to the ground even with temperatures below 32°, why is that?

If we are to answer this question properly, we have to look at conditions before the snow begins. For example, if the morning hours are filled with sunshine ground surfaces like asphalt on streets and black rooftops absorbs sunlight and traps heat longer. Regardless, if the air temperature is below 32°, the heat absorbed for the sunlight earlier will hinder snowflakes surviving on contact.

In some instances, accumulation on roads and other warmer surfaces eventually happens. One way that occurs is by a droppage of temperature through the snowfall event. Another way, is seeing the snowfall rate pick up in intensity to have evaporative cooling take place. When precipitation falls at heavy rate for a long duration of time moisture in the atmosphere increases and the dew point rises. Simultaneously, as the dew point is rising the air temperature and ultimately the pavement temperature will fall causing snow accumulation.

Evansville
Clear
38° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 38°
Owensboro
Clear
40° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 40°
Mount Carmel
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 41°
Madisonville
Clear
38° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 38°
Washington
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 32°
The gorgeous weather will stick around to start your workweek.
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