Maximum Snow Formation Temperature
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
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Update: June 2012