How do you know if it is going to snow?


Quick Answer

Meteorologists use computer models to predict all forms of precipitation, including snow. These models rely on a single variable to determine if water is going to fall as rain, snow or ice. Once he predicts precipitation, the meteorologist compares the temperature forecast to determine the form of precipitation, such as snow.

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Full Answer

Meteorologists find it more difficult to predict the amount of snowfall a storm brings. The computer models predict the amount of moisture the storm should bring, but snow varies greatly in density. If the moisture levels are high, flakes tend to be larger and wetter, but they are smaller and drier when they form in dry weather. According to CNN, snow is one of the most difficult weather occurrences to predict accurately.

Humans have had a long interest in predicting the severity of the upcoming winter. In societies where people must depend on the food they store and preserve to last through the winter, it is useful to know when to expect air temperatures to warm again. It is also beneficial to plan for snowstorms. Superstitions developed over time and often have a certain degree of accuracy. Some count the number of stripes on the woolly caterpillar to determine the likelihood of a severe winter ahead, while others look at seedpods and leaves of trees, such as the maple, to make their predictions. Unfortunately, some of these superstitions give conflicting predictions for the future, as do meteorologists.

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