It's the question every meteorologist faces, even when there is just a slight chance of winter precipitation in the forecast -- how much will it snow?

Meteorologists must figure out numerous factors, probabilities and radar analysis to derive that answer. Even then, it's extremely challenging -- especially in the Piedmont Triad.


  • Eric Chilton - Good Morning Show Meteorologist


Chilton said the proximity of the mountains to the coast and the way our systems form are the reasons predicting winter weather in the Triad is difficult.

"There are so many variables...that determine what's going to happen. One of them is how much water is in the atmosphere," he explained.

Weather balloons measure precipitable water -- how much water in the atmosphere could be squeezed out in the form of precipitation.

On average, the Triad has a water to snow radio of half an inch. That water to snow ratio, combined with temperature and dry air, can predict the amount of snowfall. For example, 28 to 34 degrees could mean 5" of snow. A colder temperature of 20 to 27 degrees could mean 7.5" of snow. A frigid temperature of 10 to 14 degrees could mean 15" of snow.


Predicting how much snow will fall in a particular area is an extensive process with numerous factors, including water to snow ratio.

Show your meteorologist your appreciation. Know they always are working hard to give you the most precise forecast possible, so you can plan your week!

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