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28 December 2010

Snow or rain?

"For the Middle Primary class and their Water studies-

You think we've had snow here in Switzerland?  Watch this video from New Jersey (it's on east coast of the USA)


December 2010 Blizzard Timelapse from Michael Black on Vimeo.

"One photo was taken every five minutes and combined to make a movie compressing 20 hours of snow into 30 seconds.  Note clock on table showing the passage of time as the snow gets higher, about 2 inches an hour.  Movie begins around 11am Sunday morning and ends early Monday morning." (Text from CNN, which also embedded the video on it's news page.)

The photographer (Michael Black) reports 32 inches of snow. Quick - using your Google search bar to use use Google's built-in calculator function, type in "32 inches in centimeters" and you'll find that that's 81.28 centimeters - almost a meter of snow!

What's a blizzard?  "A blizzard is a severe storm condition characterized by low temperatures, strong winds, and can include heavy snow. By definition, the difference between blizzard and a snowstorm is the strength of the wind." (link) Has there ever been a blizzard in Zug?

Remember that over on our Water Wiki's Questions and Experiments page, there's a link to find the answer to "How many inches of rain equals an inch of snow?" It's a 10:1 ratio (more or less). 80 cm of snow = 8 cm of rain.  If that much rain were to fall in Zug in 20 hours, what would it look like?  Has it ever happened? Which would you rather live with - lots and lots of rain, or blizzards?

"Zug has an average of 136.1 days of rain per year and on average receives 1,224 mm (48.2 in) of precipitation. The wettest month is August during which time Zug receives an average of 158 mm (6.2 in) of precipitation. During this month there is precipitation for an average of 12.7 days. The month with the most days of precipitation is June, with an average of 13.7, but with only 156 mm (6.1 in) of precipitation. The driest month of the year is January with an average of 67 mm (2.6 in) of precipitation over 12.7 days.[3]" (link)


"Cham has an average of 136.1 days of rain per year and on average receives 1,147 mm (45.2 in) of precipitation. The wettest month is June during which time Cham receives an average of 144 mm (5.7 in) of precipitation. During this month there is precipitation for an average of 13.5 days. The driest month of the year is February with an average of 69 mm (2.7 in) of precipitation over 13.5 days.[5] (link)


"Blizzards can occur in any region of the world which is subject to snow. They are most frequent in continental interiors at high latitudes where very cold weather is frequent and wind is easily generated. Some examples include Siberia, the Great Plains of Canada and the United States, and eastern Europe." (link)

Read the weather pages about this blizzard on the Accuweather web page. PhillyWeather.net, and Wikipedia. On the  MSNBC page, scroll down until you come to this heading
and watch the animated explanation of what causes a blizzard.