Ever wonder how much water is in the snow?

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Good morning! Anytime we forecast a winter warm-up that has the potential to quickly melt off the snow, I get this question repeated: "If the snow melts quickly, will we get flooding?"

In order to accurately answer that question, we have to look at the water content in the snow. The last official measurement at the Quad City Airport was just shy of 5 inches. This morning on Good Morning Quad Cities, I took a sample and put it in a non-graduated cylinder from the News 8 kitchen.

Making sure not to pack the snow in, I put 5 inches of snow in the cylinder and brought it inside. After 2 hours, the snow still wasn't fully melted. So for the sake of "TV time," I sped up the process in the microwave.

Once the snow was melted, 1.8" of water remained in the cylinder. That means that the melt-off in the coming days will be lik

e the same equivalent of rain falling onto the Quad Cities...probably not enough to cause any problems for flooding.

What will be possible is river flooding if the ice that has built up on rivers doesn't break up. That could cause some ice-jamming with flood water going over the ice...something we'll monitor.

But try this little "snow coring" trick at home! It's fun to show kids as well.

-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen

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