Ask Difference

Snow vs. Snow Showers — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on January 11, 2024
Snow refers to frozen precipitation in the form of ice crystals, while snow showers are short, intermittent bursts of snowfall that start and stop suddenly.
Snow vs. Snow Showers — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Snow and Snow Showers


Key Differences

Snow is a weather condition involving the fall of small ice crystals from clouds. It can range from light flurries to heavy, continuous snowfall. Snow showers, however, refer to brief and intermittent snowfalls that start and stop suddenly and might vary in intensity.
While general snowfall can last for several hours or even days and typically covers a large area, snow showers are usually short-lived, lasting a few minutes to an hour, and often affect localized areas.
The intensity of snow is generally steady and can lead to significant accumulations over time. Snow showers, on the other hand, might not result in much accumulation due to their brief nature, though they can be intense while they last.
Snow often leads to a uniform blanket of snow cover, impacting travel and daily activities. Snow showers may result in sporadic cover and are less likely to disrupt daily life significantly.
Predictability differs between the two; general snow can be forecasted with more accuracy, while snow showers, due to their sudden and localized nature, might be more challenging to predict precisely.

Comparison Chart


Can last several hours to days.
Short-lived, lasting a few minutes to an hour.

Area of Impact

Typically covers a wide area.
Often localized and intermittent.


Generally steady.
Can vary, often intense but brief.


Can lead to significant accumulation.
Less accumulation due to brief nature.


More accurately forecasted.
More sudden and less predictable.

Compare with Definitions


Snowfall can range from light flurries to a blizzard.
A gentle snow began to fall in the early morning hours.

Snow Showers

They start and stop suddenly and can be intense.
A brief but heavy snow shower caught us off guard during the hike.


It accumulates over time, often leading to a blanket of snow.
The fields were covered in a thick layer of snow.

Snow Showers

Snow showers typically don’t last long and cover localized areas.
The town experienced several quick snow showers this afternoon.


Frozen precipitation consisting of hexagonally symmetrical ice crystals that form soft, white flakes.

Snow Showers

Accumulation from snow showers is usually minimal.
The snow showers left a light dusting on the streets.


A falling of snow; a snowstorm.

Snow Showers

Snow showers are short, sudden bursts of snowfall.
Intermittent snow showers are expected throughout the day.


The white specks on a television screen resulting from weak reception.

Snow Showers

They are less predictable and can occur suddenly.
The weather was clear until a sudden snow shower appeared.


(Slang) Cocaine.


(Slang) Heroin.


To fall as or in snow.


To cover, shut off, or close off with snow
We were snowed in.


(Slang) To overwhelm with insincere talk, especially with flattery.


(uncountable) The frozen, crystalline state of water that falls as precipitation.


(uncountable) Any similar frozen form of a gas or liquid.


(countable) A snowfall; a blanket of frozen, crystalline water.
We have had several heavy snows this year.


(uncountable) A shade of the color white.


(uncountable) The moving pattern of random dots displayed on a television, etc., when no transmission signal is being received.




Marine snow


A two-masted, square-rigged vessel, trysail-mast stepped immediately abaft the main mast.


(impersonal) To have snow fall from the sky.
It is snowing.
It started to snow.


(colloquial) To hoodwink someone, especially by presenting confusing information.


(poker) To bluff in draw poker by refusing to draw any cards{{cite-book


A square-rigged vessel, differing from a brig only in that she has a trysail mast close abaft the mainmast, on which a large trysail is hoisted.


Watery particles congealed into white or transparent crystals or flakes in the air, and falling to the earth, exhibiting a great variety of very beautiful and perfect forms.


Fig.: Something white like snow, as the white color (argent) in heraldry; something which falls in, or as in, flakes.
The field of snow with eagle of black therein.


To fall in or as snow; - chiefly used impersonally; as, it snows; it snowed yesterday.


To scatter like snow; to cover with, or as with, snow.


Precipitation falling from clouds in the form of ice crystals


A layer of snowflakes (white crystals of frozen water) covering the ground


English writer of novels about moral dilemmas in academe (1905-1980)


Street names for cocaine


Fall as snow;
It was snowing all night


Conceal one's true motives from especially by elaborately feigning good intentions so as to gain an end;
He bamboozled his professors into thinking that he knew the subject well


Snow is frozen precipitation in the form of ice crystals.
The forecast predicts continuous snow throughout the night.


It occurs in cold weather when temperatures are below freezing.
As the temperature dropped, the rain turned into snow.


Snow cover can impact travel and other activities.
The heavy snow made the roads impassable.

Common Curiosities

Can snow showers lead to heavy snow accumulation?

Generally, no. Due to their brief nature, snow showers usually result in minimal accumulation.

Is driving in snow showers dangerous?

It can be, especially if the snow showers are intense and reduce visibility suddenly.

How are snow showers forecasted?

They can be challenging to predict precisely due to their sudden and localized nature.

What is the main difference between snow and snow showers?

Snow refers to general snowfall, while snow showers are brief, sudden, and often localized bursts of snow.

Are snow showers common in certain regions?

Yes, they are more common in regions with cold, unstable air masses.

What temperatures are needed for snow showers?

Like regular snow, snow showers occur at freezing or sub-freezing temperatures.

What type of clothing is recommended for snow showers?

Wear layers and waterproof outerwear, as conditions can change rapidly.

Do snow showers last all day?

Snow showers are typically short-lived and don't usually last an entire day.

Can snow showers turn into steady snowfall?

It's possible, especially if atmospheric conditions change to support continuous snow.

Can snow showers occur with sunny skies?

Yes, snow showers can occur under partly cloudy conditions, leading to "sun showers."

Do snow showers affect air travel?

They can, particularly if visibility is reduced suddenly.

How do snow showers affect road conditions?

They can create slick, hazardous conditions, especially if they are unexpected.

Is it easier to forecast snow than snow showers?

Generally, yes, as regular snowfall patterns are more stable and predictable.

How do cities prepare for snow showers?

Cities may prepare by monitoring forecasts and having snow removal equipment ready for sudden changes.

Are snow showers accompanied by wind?

They can be, especially if associated with a cold front or storm system.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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