ultrafacts:When a fresh batch of snow falls to the ground, the…


When a fresh batch of snow falls to the ground, the world tends to quiet down.

That could partially be attributed to human factors: it’s likely winter, people aren’t out as much and traffic comes to a halt. However, there are more scientific reasons for the quietude. When a fresh blanket of snow settles down, it’s doing a lot more than turning the world into a winter wonderland.

“When snow falls, it does absorb some of the soundwaves,” says Bernadette Woods Placky, a meteorologist and director of Climate Central’s Climate Matters program. [x]

As snowflakes stack up, there is more space left between them, compared to the surface of liquids like water. With all that space, sound is unable to bounce off snow as easily as it would off water. As a result, the sound gets absorbed.


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