National Weather Service Snowfall Map


Yesterday’s snow brought impressive totals, but why? There are a few reasons why this storm, which wasn’t very potent, brought impressive totals. First off, the snow to water ratio was very large. Usually, we use a 10:1 ratio where one inch of water would equal ten inches of snow. Yesterday’s snow was incredibly light and fluffy as we recorded 5.5″ officially at the Rockford airport. With a bit of light calculation, that comes to an astonishing 68:1 snow/water ratio here in Rockford!! A main reason that our snow ratios were so high with temperatures not bone chilling cold has to do with temperatures aloft. Much of the column of air above us was in prime temperature to form what are known as Dendrites, or very large and fluffy snowflakes. As the flakes fell through this prime environment, they grew many times their original size before hitting the ground. Another cause for the high totals with this weak storm was its slow movement. While it was mostly cut off from the main flow aloft, it sat over the area for quite some time, compared to most storms that we see through the Stateline.

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This post was written by qni_it on December 27, 2009

5 Comments so far

  1. Renee December 27, 2009 7:28 PM

    This was a great snow –beautiful, yet so light that shoveling took no effort. Heck, my daughter flattened most of our drive by playing on it, so that part didn’t need shoveling at all!

  2. tony December 27, 2009 8:05 PM

    I agree. I am just glad we have snow on christmas for the white christmas. I had no trouble shoveling that snow either. Now let’s just keep it around until march when spring comes then it can melt and be ready for severe weather.

  3. FSU December 27, 2009 9:56 PM

    HUSH Tony! None of that severe spring weather talk… lol

  4. Aaron Brackett December 27, 2009 10:23 PM

    Certainly an easy snow to get rid of!

    -AB

  5. Sara-NW Rfd December 27, 2009 10:41 PM

    A neighbor was using a leaf blower to clear the walk.

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