KSN Storm Track 3 Digital Extra: Temperature importance when it comes to rain/snow, winter storm update

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For the better part of the day, snow stuck it out in southwest Kansas down into the Oklahoma Panhandle. The amounts are incredible, so far! These are just a handful.

From the beginning, we knew this system would produce a healthy amount of moisture. The tricky part – the temperature. Look at our highs today as they ranged from the 30s out west to the 40s and 50s east.

For snow formation to occur, the atmospheric temperature needs to be around 32°F. Farther east, it was just too warm and the reason why we saw rain for the majority of the day. But, now that 32° line is working east as temperatures cool overnight.

As meteorologists, we tend to use a snow to rain ratio of 10:1, meaning that for every inch of rain, you will get 10 inches of snow. Snow can also be classified as dry or wet. Today’s snow is wet and heavy – the kind you can make snowballs with easily. A dry snow will be more powdery, an indication of drier air available.

The trees are a giveaway that this is a heavy, wet snow because it is adding to the beauty heading into the holiday season.

This system will keep trucking to the east through Thursday morning. Sedgwick and Sumner counties have been added to the list late tonight under a Winter Weather Advisory through 6 AM Thursday.

Please be careful on roads as they will be slick.

-Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman

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