What melts snow faster-80 degree sunshine or 40 degree rain?
For this I turned to my colleague Rich Marriott, who has extensive knowledge in glacier and snow science. He says 80 degree sunshine is faster at melting snow. Rain isn't as efficient at melting snow, though it does compact snow well, giving the impression it's melting snow fast. The absorption of heat, by radiation and conduction, is more efficient at melting snow...all other factors being equal. We should be melting a lot of snow on the major volcanic peaks this weekend...such as Mount Rainier.