(WFRV) – As snow falls onto the ground, some might be wondering what’s the difference between light, fluffy snow and heavy, wet snow.
According to Storm Team 5 Meteorologist Ryan Morse, meteorologists usually go by a ratio of ten inches of snow to one inch of precipitation.
Heavy, wet snow typically sees a ratio of five inches of snow to one inch of precipitation.
Light, fluffy snow doesn’t have as much liquid water in it. The ratio is 20 inches of snow to one inch of precipitation.
Temperatures definitely play a factor into which type of snow fall we see.
For light, fluffy snow, you’ll see it more commonly in temperatures below 20 degrees.
Heavy, wet snow temperatures typically falls around 32 degrees.
As parts of Wisconsin are experiencing winter storm watches or warnings today, most of the area will see heavy, wet snow.
“You’re looking for today’s snowfall if you’re looking to build a snowman. You want that heavy, packing snow with a lot of water. I know some people see that light, fluffy snow and try to build a snowball and it pretty much falls apart because there’s not much liquid water in it”, says Morse.
Since heavy, wet snow has more precipitation, it may melt faster. With colder temperatures approaching in the coming days, that could lead to some freezing over night.
“That heavy, wet snow can melt a little bit when it’s hitting the ground so you might see some more wet spots on the road and of course, that can freeze over overnight”, Morse explains.
Morse tells Local 5 viewers to get a head start on shoveling and be extra cautious for slippery roads when driving throughout the night and in the morning.