Snow = Rain?
Recently, the newspaper headlines claimed that a record snowfall had been dumped on the Mount Baker ski slopes...a whopping eight feet of snow in five days and twelve feet in the full November storm cycle. Mount Baker locals claim to have the deepest snow base of any ski area in the world, around fifteen feet currently.[SWE] = [Snow Depth] x [Density]
The Mount Baker ski area also is home to the unofficial world record of snowfall in one season: 1,140 inches in 1998-99.
However, April 1921 is the date for the largest amount of snow fall in a single day, when a storm dumped more than six feet of snow at Silver Lake (CO).
Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) is a measurement of the amount of water contained within the snowpack. In a sense, it is the depth of water that would theoretically remain if you melted the entire snowpack instaneously. The key equation:
where the density of new snow ranges from about 5% when the air temperature is 14° F to about 20% when the temperature is 32° F. In the Mount Baker area, snow densities are usually around 20%.
Question 1: What is the expected SWE for the eight feet of snow dropped on Mount Baker?
Question 2: What is the expected SWE for the world record snowfall in a single day? How does this compare with the largest rainfall record in a single day (i.e. 75.98 inches fell during a hurricane on Reunion Island near Madagascar)?