Not All Snow Can Make Snowballs

In some places, snow is heavy and wet. It’s easy to make a snowball out of wet snow. But if the snow is very wet, the snowball could hurt someone. In other places, snow doesn’t hold as much water. It feels light and fluffy and it won’t stick together to make a snowball. The best snow to make a snowball is not too wet and not too dry.

Lots of people in a snowy park making snowballs, throwing snowballs, and dodging snowballs

A big snowball fight happened in Lincoln Park, Washington, DC, in 2010. 

Brett Davis

You might wonder how snow, made of frozen water, could be wet or dry. Well, not all snow contains the same amount of water.  

On average, 10 inches of snow melts down to about an inch of water; however, not all snow is the same. For instance, if you melted only five and a half inches of snow that fell on Mount Washington, New Hampshire, it would be a puddle of water that’s an inch deep. You’d have to melt more than 15 inches of snow from Crested Butte, Colorado, to get an inch of water. Snow that holds more water can be packed together into a snowball more easily than snow that holds less water. 

A kid blows on snow that's cupped in their hands and it flies into the air.

Dry snow can blow out of your hands with a little breeze, and it doesn't pack into a snowball.