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Meteorology (Weather)/Correlation between snowfall and outdoor temperature


Histogram of Outdoor Temps
Histogram of Outdoor T  
I have a question about the impact of precipitation on the average daily outdoor temperature.  I was looking at histograms for St. Cloud, Minnesota and Rockland, Maine and there seems to be a bunching of outdoor temperature around the freezing point. Is this just a coincidence or is this related to the heat transfer as water/snow falls through the air or is this just a coincidence?

Hi Matthew

There is a local transfer of coldness through falling rainfall to the surface but advective forces and local climatological influences would far outweigh the rain/temp transfer.

As to snowfall, yes, there is a larger element of cooling associated with falling snow!

The big influence for St. Cloud would be the polar airmasses and for Rockland Maine it would be ocean temperature.

The "bunching" at St. Cloud seems, most likely, to be a instrument design error  and at Rockland, the critical influence of warm ocean impact on radiational cooling and cold air-mass
coastal modification.

Hope I may be right :)

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Donald Rosenfeld


Any questions (except private) answered from the 1st grade level on up pertaining to any aspect of Weather. I am a 20 year member of the American Meteorological society and a long time forecaster of eastern United States snow storms and Hurricanes.

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