Slush — the mixture of snow and water

Slush — the mixture of snow and water


Slush, the mixture of snow and water, is a weather phenomenon familiar to anyone who lives in northern latitudes with a humid climate near the shore of a large lake, sea or ocean. In this lesson we will understand how slush is formed. 

In nature, slush is usually formed when snow falls on the water surface. If the water temperature is only a little above freezing point (about 0 °C), the snow barely melts on it. It remains lying on the surface and gets wet, looking and feeling like "wet cotton". But the physical characteristics of slush are more like melted ice cream, and it behaves like a very thick liquid. It can float along with the flow of the river, forming bizarre shapes. By the way, the freezing point of salt water is slightly below 0 °C, so there, the slush can not only lie on the surface, but also float at a depth.

But not just snow in water bodies is called slush, it can be any other snow soaked in water. For example, when, after a snowfall, they cover roads with salt that turns into disgusting melted muck — that’s also slush.

Since slush only forms at temperatures close to zero, it can change rapidly. If it gets a little warmer, the snow will immediately melt, but if it gets colder, it can quickly turn into ice.

That’s why slush can be classified as a weather hazard for transport. Getting on the cold metal parts of ships and aircraft, it leads to very rapid icing of their parts. Slush on the road can freeze and form black ice.

If you see slush, don't forget that it can turn into ice soon!

Slush. Photo: Tatiana Klimenko, Roman Vorobyov



Cover photo: Kent Henderson / Unsplash

You can also find usefull

What is a thundersnow and how dangerous it is

What is a brinicle — the underwater stalactite

Snow and ice pellets — the other types of frozen precipitation


Share:   WINDY.APP Facebook   WINDY.APP Twitter
Subscribe to Meteo Textbook 
Take previous lessons on the website

Latest News

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. If you continue to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.