In Reply to: Warm enough to snow posted by Gary Martin on January 11, 2010 at 12:10:
: : Has anyone heard of the phrase "it's warm enough to snow"? I'm wondering if it is an old Suffolk phrase, possibly picked up from the local farming fraternity. I've known it since childhood, ie 1950's, brought up in a Suffolk village, with father in agricultural business, so would have heard many old Suffolk phrases and probably brought them home.
: : I would love to know if anyone knows anything about this phrase or, in fact, ever even heard it.
: : Thanks very much.
: 'Too cold to snow' used to be said quite often in my youth in Midlands, UK. I don't hear that so much noiw, but I imagine it was used elsewhere. I've not come across 'warm enough to snow' before but perhaps that comes from the same thought. It never seemed to make much sense. I think it was based on the notion that the weather seemed especially cold and crisp on clear cloud free days, when snow wasn't likely.
My wife, who doesn't like the cold at all, has been saying "it's too cold to snow" a lot lately. We've had a number of uncharacteristic single-digit Fahrenheit nights here in the mid-Atlantic U.S. Yesterday it hit 29F and I remarked that it felt like summer, so I can imagine someone also remarking that it's finally warm enough to snow.
A meteorlogist says this about the phrase "too cold to snow":
"The phrase "it is too cold to snow today" probably originated as a misapplication of the relationship between temperature and the maximum amount of water vapor that can be in the air. When temperature decreases, the maximum capacity of water vapor that can be in the air decreases. Therefore, the colder it gets the less water vapor there will be in the air."