Sea Talk Video - Water in Snow

How much water is in a snowflake? The answer depends on a variety of factors, including humidity, temperature, and wind.

Publication Date:
Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Episode Script

This is Sea Talk: Ocean news from the University of Delaware.
As you watch big, fluffy snowflakes float down during a flurry, have you ever wondered how much water is contained in each of those frozen flakes? The answer depends on several factors at the time of the snowfall, including humidity, wind, and temperature. Each snowflake is made up of many ice crystals clumped together that form when water vapor changes directly from a gas to a solid. A single snowflake can be composed of up to one hundred crystals. At 30 degrees Fahrenheit, the snow to water ratio is about ten to one, meaning that in ten inches of snow, there is only about one inch of water. While at 18 degrees Fahrenheit, that ratio doubles to twenty to one. 
This is Sea Talk, a public service announcement from the University of Delaware, the Delaware Sea Grant College Program, and this station.

Sea Talk - Water in Snow

Page Updated on January 2, 2018