All Weather News

Why is it Quiet After it Snows?

8 Dec 2017, 4:08 pm

As snow piles up, the volume turns down– and there’s some nifty science at play that makes it seem like the whole world turned the volume down.

It’s similar to the reason snow is white– which makes for an interesting read.

Why is Snow White?

Fewer People

The most obvious reason for the post-storm silence is that there are fewer people out and about. Unless the storm occurs right as rush hour is getting under way, a coating of snow typically keeps people and their things safely inside their homes.

This plays a role into why things are quieter, but it actually gets even more interesting.


Snow absorbs sound.

Snowflakes are made up of a bunch of ice crystals. Those crystals stick together forming each unique snowflake.
As those flakes pile up they keep the air between the ice crystals. This is why us meteorologists always say, “One inch of rain would equal about 10 inches of snow.”

The air between the snowflakes on the ground allows sound to penetrate through the snow, but once it does it is very difficult for it to bounce back out. The snow winds up trapping the sound inside of it much like sound-proofing in a music studio.

Over time the snow settles, allowing the ice crystals to compact. This takes away the space for the air between the snow flakes. Because of this the sound bounces off the snow instead of penetrating into the snowpack.
So the quietest time usually happens while the snow is falling or right after it ends.

Snow in Bush, LA

❄️❄️ Sneaux continues to fall in Southeast Louisiana…

Posted by WeatherNation on Friday, December 8, 2017

For WeatherNation — Meteorologist Jeremy LaGoo

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.