A question meteorologist get asked all the time during the cold winter months is "can it ever be too cold to snow"? Well, the short answer is no.
The ingredients for snow are:
1. A temperature profile that allows snow to reach the surface
2. Saturated air
3. Enough lifting of that saturated air to allow snow to develop aloft and fall to reach the surface
The phrase "it's too cold to snow" probably originated as a misapplication of the relationship between temperature and the maximum amount of water vapor that can be in the air. When temperature decreases, the maximum capacity of water vapor that can be in the air decreases. Therefore, the colder it gets the less water vapor there will be in the air.
Most heavy snowfalls happen with relatively warm air temperatures near the ground -- usually at 15 degrees F or above. When the temperature drops into the single digits, or below zero, heavy snow is unlikely. That's not because it's too cold, but because its too dry. When temperatures are that low, the air's capacity for water vapor becomes very small.
Experts say only at absolute zero would snow become impossible. Along with everything else.
A renewed risk of severe weather will threaten portions of the north-central United States into midweek.
Heavy downpours will raise the concern for flash flooding along the Gulf Coast and lower Mississippi Valley through midweek.
A stifling heat wave will remain entrenched across the Northeast this week, despite a brief reprieve in humidity for some.
Dangerous heat will surge northward and send temperatures rising across the northwestern United States this week.
Severe thunderstorms rumbled through the Northeast on Monday, lashing the region with damaging winds while also unleashing heavy downpours that triggered flash flooding.
Here are five easy ways to stay cool in sweltering summer heat.
New Jersey (1892)
Spectacular "double" waterspouts off Barneget Light at heights of 500-600 feet.
Toshomingo, OK (1943)
121 degrees -- record high for state.
Houston, TX (1978)
For the second straight day, a lightning bolt struck an oil storage tank. This strike caused a 5 alarm fire.