PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – You don’t have to tell us it’s cold and snowy here in winter, but is it really too cold to snow? That’s a question I get a lot during the winter, can the temperatures reach the point where snow can’t form anymore? The quick and technical answer is “no,” but there’s some truth to that concept.
Scientifically and technically, the only temperature in a place that is too cold for snow is absolute zero.
Absolute zero is -459.67°F and is the lowest theoretically possible temperature. Any real gas condenses into a liquid or solid at some temperature above absolute zero, so it would be too cold to encounter snow! However, temperatures to absolute zero are unlikely, meaning it still can’t be too cold to snow. Technically at least.
This is where I see that the idea is on the right track. We know that colder air has less moisture. The colder the air, the less moisture it can hold. Less humidity means less snow.
On Earth, According to the Australian Antarctic Program ( https://www.antarctica.gov.au/about-antractica/geography-and-geology/ ), Antarctica is the coldest and driest place on Earth, and the amount of rainfall they see on the Polar Plateau is similar to that that falls in the world’s hottest deserts. A good example of colder air holding less moisture, which means less moisture to make snow!
Look at it this way: As long as there’s moisture in the air, it can freeze, but the colder it gets, the less snow it gets. While that idea is technically wrong, in real-world weather it does have some truth.
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https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2022/02/12/hey-ray-can-it-be-too-cold-to-snow/ Hey Ray! Can Snow Be Too Cold? – CBS Pittsburgh