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Name: Freddy 
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Question:
How cold does it have to be to snow (in Fahrenheit)?


Replies:
Freddy,

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
Meteorologist
Climate Research Section
Environmental Science Division
Argonne National Laboratory


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