Not all snow is created equally. That’s an important phrase to understand.

Snow is snow, but there are important differences in snow that can occur based on temperatures at the surface and in the atmosphere up high. Snow can be wet or dry, have different size flakes and even different shapes of snow flakes.

These differences mean everything not only for the kids who want to play outside in the snow, but also for road conditions and more.

The most common types of differences in snow will be whether the snow is more dry and powdery, or if the snow leans the other way and is heavier and wet. Public Works crews know just how important this information is.

Rick Baker is an Operations Supervisor for the City of Decatur where he helps manage the city’s fleet of plows and monitor road conditions.

“We get forecasts in the morning and then a pavement forecast in the afternoon. ~  If something is forecast, we’re out and ready.”

Rick and his crew are ready for snow, no matter how much and what type it is.

“A heavy wet snow is going to be mainly a salting event, a dry powdery snow, depending on the temperature, will blow off the roads we won’t have to plow so much.  The bad thing about that is that once it is down it starts blowing around it starts drifting, and then we are fighting drifting back over roads which we don’t fight with heavy snow.”

We not only share information about how much snow we expect, but important characteristics about how the snow will affect your commute and outdoor play time with the family.

Here’s a recipe from Meteorologist Jacob Dickey on how to make snow cream. You’ll want a heavy, wet snow with at least a few inches on the ground to make this. It’s great for the whole family, just make sure your snow is clean!