How snow disappears without melting

Weather News

(WWLP) – Outside of Franklin County and the hilltowns, we’ve been lacking snowfall this winter.

Overall, we’ve had more rain than fresh powder because of how mild our temperatures have been.

Sun, combined with above-freezing temperatures is what mostly melts the little amount of snow we’ve had this winter.

Some people may think it’s due to a process called sublimation, which is when snow goes from ice to vapor, bypassing the liquid phase. That’s more common in areas in the western U.S. and places like Mt. Everest. That’s because low relative humidity, strong winds, and low air pressure are required for sublimation — which happen at higher altitudes.

“I think we should get a little more snow. I mean we are from New England and we’ve had nothing, maybe so it’s still February,” Mernie Low of Forest Park Springfield said.

In the western U.S., sublimation can reduce the snowpack due to a chinook wind, which is very warm, and exceptionally dry air that blows over snow and evaporates it before it has a chance to melt.

Here in Massachusetts, our snow melts, leading to that slush and mud. We are expecting another wintry mix to arrive late Tuesday morning.

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