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Thread: Snow storms

  1. #1 Snow storms 
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    Why is there always a temperature spike before a snow storm?


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  3. #2 Re: Snow storms 
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    Quote Originally Posted by the man of science
    Why is there always a temperature spike before a snow storm?
    What do you mean--I've never even heard of such a thing. Temperatures can sometimes change but their usually due to the added evaporation of the precip or mixing from aloft at the lead edges of frontal boundaries.


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  4. #3  
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    well right before it snows I always notice that the temperature goes up maybe 4 or 5 degrees.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Ive never noticed that, after two weeks of snow in the Puget Sound region, I didn't see anything along those lines...
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  6. #5  
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    The snow may be associated with a cyclonic warm front. If the cold weather is a consequence of an anticyclone and a warm front moves through two things will occur.

    The dry, cloud free air is replaced by warmer cloudy air. The snow is thus originating from a warmer air mass. What you are seeing is not cause and effect (higher temperature causes the snow), but two causes from a single, unnoticed effect (higher temperature and snow both caused by a warm front).

    Additionally the insulating effect of cloud may deter a temperature drop and even allow further elevation of air temperature from ground cooling.

    I'm not a metereologist, so those are just casual thoughts.

    Pa;eoichneum, the words Puget Sound have always carried a sense of romance and adventure when I hear them. Not sure why. However, I am envious that you are in the midst of it.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    Paleoichneum, the words Puget Sound have always carried a sense of romance and adventure when I hear them. Not sure why. However, I am envious that you are in the midst of it.
    Thanks John, I was born and raised here and the only place I have found that has more hold on me are the Okanogan Highlands in Northeast Washington.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by the man of science
    well right before it snows I always notice that the temperature goes up maybe 4 or 5 degrees.
    I know what you mean. I would also say that the wind dies down a bit as well. It usually does feel warmer.

    I cannot say scientifically if this is so. However, I get that calm warm feeling when it snows too. Ha-ha.

    It is probably that the snow is at the edge of a meeting of a cold high pressure system, and warmer low pressure system carrying the rain that turns to snow. The warmer low pressure system brings some heat. As someone else was mentioning.

    But I have been in a few blizzards shoveling, so it is not a definite thing by any means.



    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
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  9. #8  
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    IIRC the process of freezing releases a fair amount of heat - as water vapor attaches to the growing snowflake, it leaves behind a little bump of thermal energy.

    So air from which water vapor has condensed out as snow will be warmer than it was.

    I too have often noticed a feeling of warmth as snow moves in - and of course the bitter cold that follows a snowstorm, when the sky clears, is also obvious.

    But that depends on prior conditions - the onset of a sleet storm on a warm fall day does not fall into this pattern.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    IIRC the process of freezing releases a fair amount of heat - as water vapor attaches to the growing snowflake, it leaves behind a little bump of thermal energy.
    That process is happening in the clouds where the precipitation is forming--nothing something which would effect the temperature at the surface.
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  11. #10  
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    I'm going with William's windchill suggestion. When the air is full of snowflakes surface winds require a lot more energy... often the air is palpably dead. So, zero windchill.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    IIRC the process of freezing releases a fair amount of heat - as water vapor attaches to the growing snowflake, it leaves behind a little bump of thermal energy.
    That process is happening in the clouds where the precipitation is forming--not something that would effect the temperature at the surface.
    I'm with Lynx_Fox. The warmth before the snow is a perceptionary illusion.

    A simple contrast in extremes: we in Alabama ought to know.

    Or maybe you all could show us measurements.

    Well...
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