Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Maximum Snow Formation Temperature
Name: Freddy 
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 

How cold does it have to be to snow (in Fahrenheit)?


Snow can sometimes reach the ground even when the temperature at the surface is well above freezing (32 deg. F). That can happen if the snow has fallen through a very shallow layer of warmer air near the surface of the Earth; the snow does not have time to melt before it reaches the surface.

It is hard to give a maximum surface air temperature for which this can happen, but it is not likely that you will see snow as snow if the air temperature at the surface is much above 40 degrees F.

David R. Cook
Climate Research Section
Environmental Science Division
Argonne National Laboratory

Click here to return to the Weather Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory