Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Snow Science: Where did the snow go?

Posted January 8

Got a little cabin fever? The Museum of Life and Science in Durham shares this easy little experiment.

Editor's Note: Got a little cabin fever? The Museum of Life and Science in Durham shares this easy little experiment. Our Snow Door Indoor Fun page has more experiments, activities and recipes.

Ever wonder how much water snow really contains? Using just a few everyday items, winter weather lovers of all ages can explore the common snowpack measurement, Snow Water Equivalent.

You will need:

  • Container with a tight fitting lid such as a mason jar
  • Marker or tape
  • Kitchen timer or stopwatch
  • Snow

1. Collect snow in a tightly sealed container such as a mason jar and mark the level where the snow reaches with a permanent marker or piece of tape.

2 Bring your jar inside. Using a kitchen timer or stopwatch, track how long your snow takes to melt.

3. Once your snow has completely melted, mark the water level.

4. Examine your two marks to determine the snow water equivalent. Are the two measurements equal? What factors do you think could influence these two levels?

Did You Know? After the snow falls, its density increases as a result of settling, melting and decrystallization.

Snap a picture of your snow day science and share your results using #lifeandscience for a chance to be featured on the Museum’s Facebook or Instagram page.

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