What's the difference between the snow level and the freezing level?

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by Jeff Renner

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KING5.com

Posted on October 10, 2013 at 6:07 PM

What's the difference between the snow level and the freezing level?

 

The freezing level measures the altitude at which the air temperature would be freezing if you were flying in an airplane. The altitude at which temperatures will be at or near freezing on the ground may be slightly different. Rocks or bare soil that absorb sunshine can lead to warmer temperatures at the same altitude. But in general, the snow level is one thousand feet below the freezing level. That's because snow doesn't immediately melt as it falls into slightly warmer air below, and in fact, can 'drag' colder air with it. When precipitation is heavy, the snow level may be as much as 2,000 feet below the freezing level. For example, if the freezing level is at 6,000 feet, the snow level will probably be at about 5,000 feet.

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