While some people run to the grocery store to stock up on toilet paper, bread and milk at even the slightest rumor of a snowstorm, others welcome it with mittens, scarves, snowsuits and their favorite sled, waxed and ready to go.
For sledding amateurs, though, bundling up for a sledding adventure can lead to real disappointment. They eagerly get on the sled, only to sink down into the snow, with the sled refusing to move an inch down the promising hill.
What do the pro sledders know that the rest of us don’t? Well, for one thing, they have learned to watch the weather patterns to predict the perfect sledding conditions. You see, it goes deeper (pardon the pun) than just the white stuff on the ground. For a successful sledding experience, there needs to be a wet, heavy snowfall. There’s more to it than that, though.
The snow needs to be the perfect snow ratio. Leave it to science to take all the fun out of snow and sledding. Brett Rossio is an Accuweather Meteorologist who understands snow. According to him, snow ratios are figured using the amount of snow’s volume compared to how much water would be produced by the melting snow.
As a perfect example, if ten inches of snow provides one inch of water, the snow ratio is 10:1. Now, sledders in the know understand that a low snow ratio produces wetter, heavier snow. In order to get this perfect snow ratio, snow should be falling at just around the freezing mark.
Brett explains the importance of the temperatures, “ If temperatures are borderline 32 degrees Fahrenheit, snowflakes will likely be wetter and compact at the surface, creating a smaller snow-liquid ratio and thereby a lesser snowfall accumulation total.”