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What if all the rainfall we have received this month was snowfall?

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Overall, February is usually a month where we are shoveling our driveways, clearing our roads, and delaying/cancelling school. We normally do these things during the winter due to snowfall. However, rainfall has been the main story this month.

Rainfall has been so excessive this month, we have had to deal with some sort of flooding across every county in our viewing area.

In Bluefield, we have received 4.20" of rainfall in February so far. While Beckley has received 5.13" of rainfall in February so far.

You might be wondering, what if all this rain fell as snowfall? Well, the conversion is not as simple as some might think.

The typical conversion from rain to snow uses a 10:1 ratio. Where 1 inch of rainfall is equivalent to 10 inches of snowfall. However, this isn't always the case. With a typical snowfall, you just multiply the amount of rain by 10, as shown below.

Let's say temperatures are on the warmer side, and we have more of a wetter snow. You would multiply the amount of rain by a number less than 10, as shown below. So 1 inch of rainfall is more equivalent to possibly 7 inches of snowfall.

When temperatures are really cold, and we get more of a drier/fluffy snow. You can get a lot more snow for the same amount of rain. This means that you would multiply the amount of rain by a number greater than 10, as shown below. So 1 inch of rainfall is more equivalent to possibly 15 inches of snowfall.

On average, 1 inch of rainfall is equivalent to 13 inches of snowfall.

There is no simple way to take all the rain we have received in February and convert it to snowfall. It depends too much on temperatures, amount of moisture content, and precipitation rates. A 10:1 ratio for rain to snow is not always correct, which is what makes it even harder to convert.

It is safe to say that if all the rainfall we have seen this month, fell as snowfall. We would have received a good amount of snow.

Brandon Lawson

Weekend Meteorologist

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