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stewfox

How mild does it need to get before it won’t snow

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I was told maybe 20yrs ago the coldest two weeks on the year in central England statistically were 2nd and 3rd week of January

That assumption has been corrected on this forum and now im told it’s the 2nd and third week of February

My question now is how mild does it need to get before it won’t snow

I was told it can snow up to around 7c but of course wouldn’t settle at that temperature

Is that correct ??

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I'm no expert but i have for sure not seen snow at 7'c... the warmest i think i have seen was a November day in 2005 when the winter came for the first time, at morning it was a very mild 10'c but at 12:00 rain started pouring down, 12:15 it began snowing with an temp of around 2,5'c to 3'c...

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It's snowed lightly at 4C here before but dewpoints were very low. It depends on numerous factors but I definitely wouldn't expect any snow to settle at such temps.

Someone will be along shortly with a better answer :doh:

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It's snowed lightly at 4C here before but dewpoints were very low. It depends on numerous factors but I definitely wouldn't expect any snow to settle at such temps.

Someone will be along shortly with a better answer :D

Me thinks there all looking out of the window looking for snow :D

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I have seen it snow at 9C I think it was March/April time.

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I have seen it snow at 9C I think it was March/April time.

Theoretically I suppose it could

I assume there would be a steep temperature gradient and the snow didn’t have time to melt, although 9c ??

I also assume we get drizzle at 2c sometimes and heavy snow at 2c other times due to the temperature gradient and thermal activity

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In sunshine-and-showers setups, when the sun heats the lower layers of the atmosphere, generating a strong contrast between the lower and upper layers of the atmosphere, snow can fall at temperatures well above freezing. A cold pool of air at upper levels, and dewpoints below freezing, are normally required.

A typical upper limit for showery days in winter is around 3C, but it can be as high as 5-6C in exceptional circumstances. In spring, 5-6C is a typical upper limit, but it can snow at temperatures as high as 8C in exceptional circumstances.

In frontal precipitation and overnight, it tends not to snow if the temperature is above 2C, or perhaps 3C in favourable circumstances.

Sleet can occur at temperatures higher than those that I've quoted; I've seen instances of sleety showers in spring starting at a temperature of around 10C, then turning to snow as the shower got underway and the temperature dropped away. I've also seen frontal sleet at temperatures of 4-5C.

Sometimes hail (especially soft hail) gets mistaken for snow, especially in spring, and this can lead to bogus snow reports where, in fairness, it is difficult to prove that they are bogus. Soft hail can fall with temperatures in double figures, and hail has been known at temperatures in excess of 30C.

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thanks for that post TWS very intresting.

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thanks for that post TWS very intresting.

Yes thanks

I've been 'interested' in the weather since i was 5 but know very little about it

I was told at 16 my maths wasnt good enough to apply for the met

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Yes thanks

I've been 'interested' in the weather since i was 5 but know very little about it

I was told at 16 my maths wasnt good enough to apply for the met

How old are you now? I would suggest no one has the right to tell you you cant apply for met because your maths isnt up to scratch. There are many avenues of meteorology you can go down today which dont involve maths, check the university of Birmingham's metorology page.

Snow at higher temperatures is largely dependant on low dewpoints and intense precipitation.

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I can remember when it snowed at about 6-7C in light showers on a light - moderate NNW nnw breeze. infact i think it was almost all snow and some soft hail. apart from the showers it was a lovely sunny spring day with low dewpoints.

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I can remember when it snowed at about 6-7C in light showers on a light - moderate NNW nnw breeze. infact i think it was almost all snow and some soft hail. apart from the showers it was a lovely sunny spring day with low dewpoints.

I'd be very very surprised to see snow falling at above 4C. As TWS has suggested, in spring it is quite possible to have snow showers on an otherwise warm day, particularly in unstable polar air when the vertical gradient can be marked. It snowed every day from May 1-5 in 1979 in NW Yorkshire, with maxima reaching double figures on most days as I recall, but that is not to say that when it was snowing it was 12C, say. Temperatures would fall very quickly in any shower due to the encroaching shade and also downdraughts; the inertial drag of precipitation and the tranfer of latent heat during evaporation - particularly in fairly dry air - would all also heighten the effect so that, during showers, temperatures would readily fall back close to freezing.

My own direct experience is that I have not seen snow fall ever at above 3C ambient. I share TWS's suspicion that suggestions of sleet at higher temperatures may often, in fact, be melting hail.

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I'd be very very surprised to see snow falling at above 4C. As TWS has suggested, in spring it is quite possible to have snow showers on an otherwise warm day, particularly in unstable polar air when the vertical gradient can be marked. It snowed every day from May 1-5 in 1979 in NW Yorkshire, with maxima reaching double figures on most days as I recall, but that is not to say that when it was snowing it was 12C, say. Temperatures would fall very quickly in any shower due to the encroaching shade and also downdraughts; the inertial drag of precipitation and the tranfer of latent heat during evaporation - particularly in fairly dry air - would all also heighten the effect so that, during showers, temperatures would readily fall back close to freezing.

My own direct experience is that I have not seen snow fall ever at above 3C ambient. I share TWS's suspicion that suggestions of sleet at higher temperatures may often, in fact, be melting hail.

I think it is at 7 degrees C. From an old weather book i cant seem to find now :)

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