You may have heard the rule-of-thumb that 1 inch of rain equals 10 inches of snow. Or, reversed, if you melt 10 inches of freshly-fallen snow, you'd get 1 inch of water.

This 10 to 1 ratio works pretty well when temperatures are near 30 degrees, but the ratio depends on the temperature at the time the snow falls.

At higher temperatures, say a few degrees above freezing, snow is often heavy and laden with water. Then, the ratio might be more like 5 to 1, where 5 inches of snow will melt into 1 inch of liquid.

At lower temperatures, snow tends to be light and fluffy, and the ratio is often greater than 10 to 1. During the Blizzard of '96, temperatures hovered in the low 20s. Wilmington's 22 inches of snow melted into one and a half inches of water, and that's about a 15 to 1 ratio.

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