While out and about over the cold weekend, I noticed how loud the snow was as I walked across it. Of course my first thought was…I sure couldn’t sneak up on my kids in this kind of weather, and then the meteorologist came out in me and my second thought was…why does the snow "creak" when you walk on it? And sometimes much louder than other times.
I did some research and ended up at a website for the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
Here’s what they had to say:
A layer of snow is simply composed of ice grains with air in between the ice grains. Because the snow layer is mostly empty air space, when you step on a layer of snow you compress that layer – a little or a lot, depending on how old the snow is. As the snow compresses, the ice grains rub against each other. This creates friction or resistance; the colder the temperature, the greater the friction between the grains of ice. the sudden squashing of the snow at lower temperatures produces the familiar creaking or crunching sound. At warmer temperatures, closer to melting, this friction is reduced to the point where the sliding of the grains against each other produces little or no noise. It’s difficult to say at what temperature the snow starts to crunch, but the colder the snow, the louder the crunch.
Sounds logical to me…now if I could just figure out why my shower screams when I turn the hot water on!
Weather wise, we will SLOWLY climb out of the deep freeze as we go through the week with highs by the weekend right around our average of 21 degrees. Some accumulating snow is possible today with a little more light snow Tuesday night and again Friday night.
Yours in weather,
Meteorologist LeAnn Lombardo
Posted under Hometown Weather
This post was written by llombardo on January 21, 2008