TECH

The Reason Why It's Silent After A Snowstorm, According To An Acoustics Experts

Ever wondered why it's so quiet?

11/01/2017 10:47 GMT | Updated 11/01/2017 10:51 GMT

With cold air blasting in from the Arctic, some parts of Britain are expected to see up to 5cm of snowfall this week.

In addition to tobogganing, snowmen and snowball fights, one of the standout features of a snow storm has to be the eerie silence that follows.

According to David Herrin, an expert in acoustics at the University of Kentucky, there’s a scientific reason for snow’s serenity.

Dylan Martinez / Reuters

“Snow is a pretty good sound absorber,” Herrin said. “In the audible range, a couple inches of snow is roughly around 0.6 or 60 percent absorbing on average.”

“Snow is porous, in some ways like a commercial sound absorbing foam.”

Herrin compared it to the fibres and foams used in cars, central heating, air conditioning and other equipment.

Unlike rain, falling snow is barely audible.

“Rain drops, on the other hand, fall at higher velocities and strike the pavement. You are hearing impact noise,” Herrin said. “With snow, the impact force is much less partly due to the reduced speed.”

Of course, snow also stops some people from going outside, which will no doubt make things even quieter still.