Anyone know the answer to this Question?


Stamford, CT
Depends on the moisture content of the snow.

Average in my recollection is 11 inches of snow = 1 inch of rain.

Of course depending on conditions it could be as little as 6 Inches or as much as 15 -16 inches

Kent Lawns Veteran
Not So.

Cold air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air. If it were colder, you would have far less moisture to work with and thus a much smaller snowfall.


Junior Member
Ok i understand what your saying! But i always thought that snow was created by warm air where the rain clouds are up high and when the rain falls through the colder air on its way down it turns to snow?? As you can see i am no weather guy!

Somerville MA.
J Curtis is correct with his conversion numbers, but the local T.V. weather guesser here (who is a snow geek) said that in coastal area's the rate can be as low as 4" per inch of water and in the mountains as much as 22" per inch.

In the Blizzard of 97 around here it worked out to about 5" of water = 25"s of snow. That was some heavy pushin!


2000 Club Member
Snow is formed when an moisture laden air developes an ice crystal on a piece of dust/dirt. It keeps adding weight till it falls to earth. The air needs to be cold all the way to the clouds. If the air layer is cold from ground to clouds you will get snow.
Warm air is lighter than cold air and will ride up and over it, so if the clouds are warm and the ground cold, you will get freezing rain, and in between the two extremes you have sleet.
That is why it can be 20 degrees outside and raining.
However, many times the air at the ground will be above 32 degrees and yet it still snows. This is because the clouds are cold, when the snow starts, it will actually cool the atmosphere on its way down. Winter weather is very cool stuff,(pun intended)
and very complex, that is why it is so difficult to forecast.
Add elevation into the fray and the moisture content per inch of snow really changes. On the up slope of mountains, as the air rises, it sqeezes the moisture right out. Where as at sea level the air is much more dense, and thus you have a higher moisture content. I have actually seen water running out of the snow, cause it had so much water in it. When it does that, the snow has a blue color to it.
Throw in some ocean influence near where I live and all bets are off.
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Senior Member
plowking35 never ceases to amaze me. That's what makes this forum so great. We all have the common interest (snow plowing) but we all also have very different and unique knowledge and experiences.

You could probably ask any question you could think of and somebody here would know the answer. How much does a gram of plutonium weigh? ;)


Stamford, CT

lets see .... How much does a gram of Plutonium weigh?????

Duhhhhh !!!!!!

That questions ranks right up there along side the question...

Which is heavier.... a ton of stone or a ton of feathers?



Senior Member
Lords Valley, PA
just read this the other day in a snow business supplement in lawn & landscape:

"...the average ratio is 10" of snow to 1" of water...fluffy snow can have a ratio in the neighborhood of 30" of snow to 1" of water...heavy, sticky snow can [have a ratio of] 5" of snow to 1" of water..."

who knew???...i always heard the 10:1 one thing?!?!?!


Senior Member
I'm not sure that JCurtis realizes that the question was meant as a joke. (that's why I winked when I asked it) Can't fool him though.:)

The ton of feathers vs. ton of stones was to easy of a question. I didn't want stump plowking35.

Kent Lawns Veteran
Here's a concept: (For those who charge based on snowfall amount)

You charge per inch based on moisture content.

An Example:
6" of snow? (1.2" water) Wet $255.00 per push
6" of snow? (.25" water) Dry $178.00 per push

Now I KNOW you can't do it this way, but it would me more fair.

~Just a brainstorm.

As most would say "I'd rather plow 8" fluff than 4" heavy, wet."


Senior Member
That sound like a good idea. We could melt all the snow in the lot, then measure how deep the water is....... wait, that won't work... too many drains....:confused:

I'll have to re-think this one. I'll get back to ya on it. :rolleyes:

Kent Lawns Veteran
You would only need to core 1-2" diameter and melt it.

~easy to instantly calculate the amount each time.

~A "little" tougher selling it to customers.

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