Weather Wednesday: How to shovel snow correctly

Weather Wednesday

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Living in mid-Michigan, we know that we are bound to see snow at some point in the winter season. But did you know that there are different types of snow? Some are light and fluffy while others can be quite dense.

6 News Chief Meteorologist David Young is here for you with the differences between wet and dry snow, and why you should be careful next time you are outside shoveling it.

Did you know there are as many as 10,000 injuries and 100 fatalities per year are attributed to snow shoveling in the U.S.?

Part of the reason behind that is the weight of the snow.

As it begins to come down, it doesn’t always weigh the same. Let’s talk about something we refer to as snow ratios, or how much the snow weighs.

For example, what we call an under 15 to one ratio means one inch of liquid accounts for about 15 inches of snowfall. That only weighs four pounds per square foot, so not all that much. That’s much easier to shovel.

When we talk about 10 to one ratio, that’s what we normally see here in mid-Michigan.

That means one inch of liquid will account for about 10 inches of snowfall. That’s going to weigh as much as around six pounds per square foot. So it’s getting a little bit heavier. We’ve had some snows as of late that we’re more of the heavy, wet variety.

So an inch of liquid only accounts for about five inches of snowfall in that it can weigh as much as 13 pounds per square foot.

That is quite a bit more lifting that you have to do.

So the bottom line is just taking it easy out there when you’re shoveling all these snowfalls, and pay attention to what the ratio is.

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