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What You Need to Know About Snow

Snow Shoveling

When we get our first snow of the year, it takes some time to readjust. Although we go through it every year, somehow we forget exactly how cold it gets every winter. We forget to wear gloves or a hat outside. We forget to leave extra time in the morning to clear the snow from the driveway before we leave. Sometimes we even forget how to drive in such icy conditions. Somehow, it’s all new to us again. That’s why WarmlyYours Radiant Heating compiled a list of some of the most commonly asked questions about snow — from how it’s made to how to get rid of it.

Car stuck in snow

What is on record as the most snowfall in 24 hours?

In the United States, the record was set in Silver Lake, Colo., in 1927. From April 14 to 15, snow accumulated to 75.8 inches. However, globally the record belongs to Mt. Ibuki, Japan, where 90.6 inches of snow accumulated on Feb. 14, 1927.

Is it true that no two snowflakes are identical?

Yes. The formation of snowflakes is impacted by temperature, air current, humidity and more, which makes it extremely unlikely for two snowflakes to come out exactly the same.  

Can it ever be too cold to snow?

No. As long as there is some amount of moisture in the air, it can snow. However, most heavy snowfalls occur at temperatures higher than 15 degrees Fahrenheit because air can hold more water vapor at warmer temperatures, according to snow-forecast.com.

Can it snow when the temperature is above freezing?

Surprisingly, yes. The common belief is that above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll get rain, and below 32 degrees you’ll get snow. However, that is not always the case. Even if the ground temperature is above freezing, if the atmospheric temperature is at or below freezing, there is a chance for snowfall. If you’ve ever noticed the snow melting as soon as it hits the ground, but then sticking to the ground later during the snowstorm, you’ve experienced this phenomenon. It happens because when the snowflakes hit the warmer ground temperature, they melt while cooling the air around them at the same time. This makes it cold enough for future snowflakes to land and accumulate. Generally, you can be sure that snow will not fall if the ground temperature is at or above 41 degrees Fahrenheit, per snow-forecast.com.

Snow shoveling
Snow shoveling can be harder on your body
than exercising on a treadmill.

Can shoveling snow actually cause a heart attack?

Yes. According to a MetroHealth article, snow shoveling can cause a sudden increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Plus, cold air constricts blood vessels, which decreases oxygen to the heart. When these things combine, it’s a dangerous mix. Of course, the health and family history of the person impacts exactly how dangerous of an activity this is. For example, smokers, those with a prior heart attack, people with heart disease, people with high blood pressure or cholesterol, and those with a sedentary lifestyle are more at risk. The Cleveland Clinic reports that more than 11,000 people are sent to the hospital each year because of snow shoveling.

What’s the best way to clear snow from driveways/walkways?

Snow Melting Mat Heating System
Snow-melting mats can be easily and quickly installed within
asphalt or concrete or in mortar under pavers.

Instead of snow shoveling, the least strenuous and most convenient way to clear snow is with a snow-melting system. Snow-melting systems are installed within a driveway, walkway, patio or stairs and require no physical activity from the homeowner to operate. Depending on how the system is controlled, sensors can be set to detect temperature and snowfall so that the system is in working order as soon as the snow starts to fall. The system consists of electric cables that emit 50 watts of heat per square foot. Available in cable or mat format, the systems are designed to be easy and quick to install.

To view frequently asked questions specifically about snow-melting systems, visit www.warmlyyours.com. You can also get an instant online quote to find out how much a snow-melting system would cost for your home. That way, as soon as this winter ends, you can revamp your driveway and walkway with a new snow-melting system that will make next winter a breeze. 

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