Snow is great for play and science! This measuring snow experiment is easy and way cool. Couldn’t resist.
The Snow Experiment
The general rule of thumb is 1 inch of rain corresponds to 10 inches of snow. After last week’s snow fall, we decided to test this.
First, we scooped up a container of fluffy snow. There was approximately 4.5 inches of snow in the container. We were also curious about the temperature of the snow. Since it was -14 outside, we wondered what the actual snow temperature was. The immediate temperature was 18 degrees.
We let the container set on the counter so the snow would melt. We noticed the snow was shrinking, but there was no water at the bottom of the container.
When we felt the snow, it was more like ice crystals than the fluffy snow we had originally collected. The temperature was increasing, also, due to the fact that the snow was shrinking away from the thermometer.
When the snow melted, there was approximately 1/2 inches of water in the bottom of the container. If we started with approximately 4.5 inches of snow and ended up with approximately 1/2 (0.5) inches of water, that is close to our 10:1 snow to rain ratio that is the standard rule. (NOTE: It is important that your container is the same size from top to bottom.)
Comparing Our Results Using Ratios
We can compare our results to the standard rule by using ratios. The standard rule for water to snow ratio is 1:10 and our results were 0.5:4.5. To compare these ratios, we need to convert them into decimals.
1 ÷ 10 = 0.1
0.5 ÷ 4.5 = 0.111
As you can see, our results were pretty consistent with the rule.
Try this for yourself and see how your results compare.
Snow Science Resources
Check out these resources for further study.