All this rain would be how much snow?

Posted at 12:00 AM, Dec 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-28 00:00:24-05

CINCINNATI -- It's a question we sometimes get in the weather department, but I saw of flood of emails and messages about it this weekend:

"How much snow would we have received if all this rain had been snow?"

It's a valid question. It's December so it should be snow. So let's play the "what if" game for a moment.

Cincinnati picked up around 2.5" of rain on Saturday and Sunday. It broke the daily record for rainfall.

Generally 1" of rain is equal to around 10" of snow. So 2.5" of rain would have been 25" of snowfall!

But the conversion from rain to snow isn't always 10:1. Sometimes the snow is more wet as we see more of a 6:1 ratio. That 2.5" of rain would be more like 15" of snow instead of 25".   

Or you can have a dry snow that has an even higher ratio like 13:1. That 2.5" of rain turns into 32.5" of snow. WOW!

There is a HUGE catch to all of these wild hypothetical snowfall numbers. Warmer air can hold more moisture which is why we were able to see such large rainfall numbers this weekend. Colder air typically has less moisture and thus, would not have been as impressive as a 25" snowfall.

Granted, big snow storms can happen and have happened in the Tri-State. It looks like we'll have to continue waiting for winter to arrive to the Ohio Valley. Until then, we can keep dreaming our rain is snow.