First snow this season: Pictures & the week ahead

1 month 2 weeks 6 days ago December 04, 2016 Dec 4, 2016 Sunday, December 04 2016 Sunday, December 04, 2016 5:37:00 PM CST in Weather
By: Kenton Gewecke, KOMU 8 Weathercaster
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MID-MISSOURI — The first snowfall of the season fell Sunday morning, mainly for areas north of Interstate 70. Some areas as far south as the Lake of the Ozarks reported a few flurries falling and immediately melting upon reaching the ground. Even for those that saw minor accumulations didn't see it stick around for long. Check out photos sent to us by viewers, above. I'll explain some of the science behind this system and a look ahead, below.

"I thought it was only supposed to rain." We were straddling a freezing line (32 degrees) in northern Missouri and it moved a little farther south than anticipated. One of the reasons predicting snow is so difficult is because a few degrees can make all the difference. Since the slightly colder air (only a couple degrees cooler) went further south, more snow fell farther south, towards I-70. As we explained leading up to this system, this is what we were watching for as a possibility. 

"Why were the snowflakes so big?" The snowflakes were large and the snow was wet because we were actually above freezing for most of the snowfall. Temperatures above us were colder than they were at the surface. When the snow made it to the warmer surface temperatures it began to melt a bit and therefore it stayed fluffy and spread out. This wet snow is perfect for snowman building and snowball fights (as seen in the pictures from our viewers). 

"Why did it melt so fast?" The ground is actually above freezing still. Ground temperatures range from middle 40s to upper 30s depending on where you live. If the ground was at or below freezing we could have dealt with icy conditions.

"When will we see more snow and will it stick?" We are tracking a few systems for the week ahead. Get the details on my Facebook page below:

 

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