Daily Archives: 14 November, 2012

Today is Winter Weather Awareness Day

Are you ready for winter?

This is Winter Weather Awareness Day in Kansas, a reminder offered by the National Weather Service that residents need to be prepared for the often-dangerous conditions that winter weather creates.

The weather service has put together a web page of safety tips, as well as a winter weather awareness video, to help people get ready for winter’s worst.

How much snow does it take to equal an inch of rain?

A sentence in a recent Associated Press story about the lingering drought over much of the United States:

Farmers embrace snowfall as a means of recharging soil moisture in time for each spring’s corn and soybean sowings, with about 20 inches of snow equating to just an inch of actual water.

That number seemed awfully high to me, so I called the National Weather Service office in Wichita and also conducted some research. The answer, predictably, varies from snowstorm to snowstorm and is driven by the air temperature at the time storm moves through.

The ratio in southern Kansas is most commonly about 12 to 1 – or one foot of snow equaling one inch of rain.

Here’s a chart showing the ratios of rain to snow, provided by the weather service:

Wichita weather: Calmer winds, warmer temperatures

Temperatures will climb near 60 today in the Wichita area, forecasters say.

Combine that with sunny skies and light south winds, and it adds up to a pleasant day for mid-November on the Great Plains. Breezes will climb into the low teens at times.

They’ll back off a bit overnight, when skies should remain mostly clear and lows are projected to fall to the mid-30s. Thursday should be warmer still, with highs in the 60s. Skies should be dotted with a few clouds, forecasters say, and south winds will be light.

Temperatures are expected to cool off into the 50s late in the week and through the weekend, forecasters say, but it should remain dry.

For more information on current conditions, go to our weather page.