GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Just forecasting snow isn't enough detail... we want to know what type of snow is headed our way!
The answer determines whether we make plans to hit the slopes or plan a day in the front yard making snowmen and snowwomen, building a fort and challenging the neighbors to a snowball fight.
The science all comes down to temperatures. When temperatures are warmer, there's more moisture available to build snowflakes and to act as glue to stick those snowflakes together. Cold air is generally drier and snowflakes are slippery. There's no extra moisture to act as the glue.
It's warmer temperatures near the freezing mark that make wet snow. This is the snowman snow. Kids love it. But those who have to shovel might have a different opinion. It's heavy.
In order for us to put snowman snow in the forecast we need temperatures near 32 degrees at the surface. Unfortunately, even with three more rounds of snow in the forecast this week, none of them bring us wet snow.
Instead a general cool trend has us forecasting three more rounds of the light and fluffy snow. Temperatures more than a degree or two below freezing will make for snow that is too dry for packing. If you have to shovel, that's great news. It's also perfect for the sledders, skiers, snowboarders and snow tubers who crave speed down the hill.
Although we know temperatures and humidity are key components, science still doesn't know why exactly the flakes form into different shapes.