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The following table provides typical weights or densities for snow that has formed and accumulated under various conditions. Weights for air, ice, and liquid water are also included, as these are the three principal components of snow.

Fresh-fallen snow. This snow probably weighs about four pounds per cubic foot.

Snow density is a function of temperature, wind exposure, and time. Snow density increases over time as the snow experiences more changes in temperature and wind. Warmer temperatures lead to higher (and heavier) moisture content; the water may re-freeze into ice when the temperature drops. Wind abrades snow particles, making them smaller so they fit together more tightly, compacting the snow, so snow will be heavier after windy weather.

The weight of a given volume of snow can be an important piece of information for a number of reasons. For instance, a typical scoop of snow with a snow shovel is about 1.5 cubic feet, so there’s a good chance you’re out there lifting more than 30 lbs over and over again while you’re clearing your driveway. Good to know.

Roof collapse due to overloading by snow is a primary concern of people looking up the weight of snow. For in-depth information on this topic, please see the links available on our page Snow Issues and Roofs.

All weights given in the table are approximations and real world values will vary.


Weight of Snow

Type of Snow Lbs per Inch of Depth per Square Foot
(Average)
Lbs per Cubic Foot
(lb/ft3)
(Average)
Lbs per Cubic Foot
(lb/ft3)
(Range)
Grams per Cubic Centimeter
(g/cm3)
(Range)
Kg per Cubic Meter
(kg/m3)
(Average)
Kg per Centimeter of Depth per Square Meter
(Average)
Air
(Average weight of air at sea level at freezing.)
0.007 lbs 0.08
lb/ft3
0.08
lb/ft3
0.0013
g/cm3
1.29
kg/m3
0.0129 kg
Wild Snow
(Light, very dry new snow. Snow immediately after falling, in extremely cold temperatures, with no wind.)
0.1 lbs 1.25
lb/ft3
0.62 - 1.87
lb/ft3
0.01 - 0.03
g/cm3
20
kg/m3
0.20 kg
Ordinary New Snow
(Snow immediately after falling, in below-freezing temperatures, with no wind; fresh, uncompacted snow that has a high volume of trapped air.)
0.3 lbs 3.59
lb/ft3
3.12 - 4.06
lb/ft3
0.05 - 0.065
g/cm3
57.5
kg/m3
0.58 kg
New Snow Slightly Compacted by Wind
(Snow immediately after falling, in below-freezing temperatures, with some wind exposure. Less trapped air.)
0.37 lbs 4.46
lb/ft3
3.93 - 4.99
lb/ft3
0.063 - 0.08
g/cm3
71.5
kg/m3
0.715 kg
Settling Snow
(Snow less than a day old that is starting to experience some wind and temperature variation.)
0.68 lbs 8.12
lb/ft3
4.37 - 11.86
lb/ft3
0.07 - 0.19
g/cm3
130
kg/m3
1.30 kg
Damp New Snow
(Snow immediately after falling, in slightly above-freezing temperatures, with little wind exposure.)
0.78 lbs 9.37
lb/ft3
6.24 - 12.49
lb/ft3
0.1 - 0.2
g/cm3
150
kg/m3
1.50 kg
Sugar Snow
(Snow with large grains formed when water vapor freezes onto existing snow crystals.)
1.04 lbs 12.49
lb/ft3
6.24 - 18.73
lb/ft3
0.1 - 0.3
g/cm3
200
kg/m3
2 kg
Settled Snow
(Typical after more than one day in place. Snow that has experienced some temperature and wind variation.)
1.3 lbs 15.61
lb/ft3
12.49 - 18.73
lb/ft3
0.2 - 0.3
g/cm3
250
kg/m3
2.5 kg
Average Wind-Toughened Snow
(Compacted snow after wind exposure in below-freezing temperatures.)
1.46 lbs 17.48
lb/ft3
17.48
lb/ft3
0.28
g/cm3
280
kg/m3
2.8 kg
Wet Snow
(Dense, sticky snow in relatively warm temperatures with little wind. Good snow for making snowballs.)
1.75 lbs 21
lb/ft3
17 - 25
lb/ft3
0.27 - 0.40
g/cm3
335
kg/m3
3.35 kg
Wind-Packed Snow
(Hard Wind Slab. Compacted snow after prolonged and heavy wind exposure.)
1.98 lbs 23.73
lb/ft3
21.85 - 25.6
lb/ft3
0.35 - 0.41
g/cm3
380
kg/m3
3.8 kg
New Firn Snow
(Firn is granular, icy, highly-compacted, pre-glacial snow. Some ice present.)
2.47 lbs 29.66
lb/ft3
24.97 - 34.34
lb/ft3
0.40 - 0.55
g/cm3
475
kg/m3
4.75 kg
Advanced Firn Snow 3.12 lbs 37.46
lb/ft3
34.34 - 40.58
lb/ft3
0.55 - 0.65
g/cm3
600
kg/m3
6 kg
Thawing Firn Snow 3.38 lbs 40.58
lb/ft3
37.46 - 43.70
lb/ft3
0.6 - 0.7
g/cm3
650
kg/m3
6.5 kg
Slush
(Advanced melting snow; snow/water mix.)
3.75 lbs 45
lb/ft3
35 - 55
lb/ft3
0.56 - 0.88
g/cm3
720
kg/m3
7.2 kg
Ice with Air Bubbles
(Cloudy ice.)
4.5 lbs 54
lb/ft3
51.19 - 56.81
lb/ft3
0.82 - 0.91
g/cm3
873
kg/m3
8.73 kg
Pure Ice
(Ice with no entrapped air.)
4.77 lbs 57.25
lb/ft3
57.25
lb/ft3
0.92
g/cm3
917
kg/m3
9.17 kg
Water
(At sea level just above freezing.)
5.2 lbs 62.43
lb/ft3
62.43
lb/ft3
1
g/cm3
1000
kg/m3
10 kg