RALEIGH, N.C.(WNCN) – For the third weekend in a row, North Carolina is expecting at least some snow. Should you break out your snow gloves for snowman making or sleds to slide down some hills?
Unfortunately, with only one or two inches forecasted, we likely won’t have perfect conditions for either. If we had to choose, this weekend is looking better for sledding as there may not be quite enough on the ground to build a good sized-snowman.
This weekend, snowfall will end early Saturday morning but temperatures will stay below freezing most of the day. Winds will make it feel like it is in the teens and lower 20s all day. Without much melting, some areas will be slick helping to increase sled speeds.
Even if we had more snow, it would still be more of a sledding weekend. The snowfall we’re expecting will more than likely be a dry snow. Whether a snow event is dry or wet comes down to its snow to liquid ratio.
Brandon Locklear, the senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh, told CBS 17 that dry snows are better for sledding or skiing while wet snows are better for snowman building.
For a wet snow, you’ll need a snow to liquid ratio below 10:1. It would ideally be at or below 8:1. Dry snow, or a powdery snow, has higher snow to liquid ratio. For dry snow, you’ll need a snow to liquid ratio above 10:1.
The driving factor for whether a dry or wet snow will fall is the temperature in the atmosphere. Locklear said as snow was falling last weekend, temperatures were in the 20’s. That created the conditions for a drier snow event. If temperatures would have been closer to freezing, 32 degrees, that would have created better chances for wet snow.
“For North Carolina, that’s a pretty high snow to liquid ratio. Our average is around 8:1 or 9:1. And that means that our snows are usually what we call more wet snows,” said Locklear.