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Old 01-20-2019, 07:00 PM
Location: Colorado Springs
4,516 posts, read 4,563,201 times
Reputation: 15987


Here is an excellent article from the NYT about driving in the snow.


Did you know this?

"The amount of grip available on snow can change sharply depending on the temperatures, said James H. Lever, a researcher at the Army’s Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, N.H.

Warm snow is weaker and gives way more easily, so tires have a harder time getting a good grip, he said.

“As temperatures warm up, it gets more slippery. It is a big effect,” he said. For example, when the air is 30 degrees Fahrenheit, packed snow is about five times more slick than it is at zero degrees.

Researchers say when a tire begins to slide across the snow at higher temperatures it is more likely to melt the snow. That water then acts as a lubricant."

I've always driven most easily on snow when the outside temps were near zero.
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:31 PM
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
3,048 posts, read 6,768,955 times
Reputation: 5977
We had a warm snow in the Vail area this past Friday and it was a mess. Every 15 minutes my phone got another alert about an accident. Give me dry powder any day.
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:16 PM
209 posts, read 98,290 times
Reputation: 808
Wow. Timely post. I just learned that today, and a neighbor helped me get unstuck. He has lived in Colorado for 23 years.

I was not stuck in loose snow, but on hard-packed snow. The temperature was a little warmer today -- about 30 or a couple of degrees higher, than usual. His first remark was: "it is about the time of day for this to happen." This was about 12:45pm to 1pm.

I interpreted him as meaning that later in the day, after the temperature has risen, the snow has gradually melted a bit, and the potential for friction between a tire (on my FWD car, in my case) and the surface is less. It only took him about three minutes with a shovel to get me going, and I didn't slow down after that until I had exited the neighborhood.

I thanked him as I drove off, and I told him I would not be back this winter without chains (I was just checking on construction . . . the trip wasn't even required, and the house won't be finished until spring. Yes, I will get a 4WD, snow tires, or both for the winter of 2019-20. I know both is best. But neither is worst.)
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Old Today, 08:28 AM
762 posts, read 449,921 times
Reputation: 407
yup I ride in snow on my dirtbike.... and noticed when its a bit warmer, my traction is all over the place. Dirtbiking in snow really lets you feel how rubber reacts with different temperature and composition of snow which helps in driving significantly

when its warmer outside it seems to fish for grip a lot more
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