Snow is cold
Name: Janette L Gubala
Why is snow cold?
I would try to answer this question with another question: why is your house
cold in the wintertime if you shut off your heat supply? Even though you are
not running the air conditioning, the environment outdoors in the area north
of the equator is colder in the winter because the Earth's tilt
results in areas north of the equator receiving comparatively LESS solar
energy (energy from the sun). The cold from the outdoors leaks into your
house, or rather the heat which IS in your house leaks out, regardless of how
good your insulation happens to be.
The colder environment which results from the lower level of solar energy in
the northern latitudes serves as the basis for formation of snow. In a warm
environment the precipitation falls as rain. Make the area colder, and
provide the appropriate meteorological conditions and you get snow.
You might try asking this question in the physics section. The discussion of
temperature is an interesting one, often it appears theoretical. We do,
however, by definition, accept "warm" as describing something which has less
energy that "hot" but more energy than "cool" and "cold."
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Update: June 2012