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Although snowfall depth is reported on newscasts and is
important to skiers, the snowfall measurement by weather
bureaus has more meaning when the water content of the snow
is determined and reported. To measure the water content of
snow, remove the top and bottom from a straight-sided can,
and push the can straight down into the snow until its rim is
even with the earth's surface. Reach under the can and,
using a piece of cardboard or plastic, cut the snow even with
the bottom edge of the can.

Remove the cylinder of snow, and empty the snow into a second
can of the same size which has only one end removed. Allow
the snow to melt slowly. (If you heat it to melt it, there
will be too much loss of water by evaporation.) Measure the
depth of the water that remains.

The snow will eventually melt and become the water that we
need for our crops. Sometimes run-off (melted snow) is so
copious that it causes flooding. Mother Nature can please
the farmers sometimes, and sometimes please those who repair
structures damaged by flooding! Not at the same time.

Compare the depth of the water to the depth of the snow that
produced it. Since snows are different, try this activity
with dry, light, fluffy snow, and then with packed snow.

You will find that some snows are drier than others (the
ratio of water to snow depth is smaller). Seriate or rank
the snows by the amount of water each produces.

If temperature measurements are taken during snowfalls, a
relationship between temperature, type of snow formed, and
water content will be discovered.

What kind of snow would be best for building an igloo? Wet
or dry?

When do we get to discuss avalanche?

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