Question From a Reader: Why is the Snow Disappearing?

Question from a Kansas Reader:  Why is the snow cover disappearing? Are the farm fields going to get any moisture from it?

Answer:  What you are observing, as temperatures have been below freezing almost continuously, is a combination of "compaction" -- gravity causing the depth of the snow to decrease -- and "sublimation." The latter is when the H2O in the solid snow goes directly into the atmosphere as a gas. There is no question the lower layer of the snow will put some moisture into the ground. But, we are losing a little to sublimation.


  1. Mike, glad you answered this question. I was wondering that myself. I wonder though with all the snow up north that is piled up in feet, has anyone been thinking about flooding concerns along the river valleys come spring?

  2. Yes, I am concerned about spring flood potential. It is a little too early to start quantifying the risk.


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