GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The winter weather has turned Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky into a snow globe. The snow does more than just look pretty, it acts as a very effective sound absorber.
The reason snow is so good at absorbing sound waves is due to its structure. Snow is made of ice crystals and there’s space in between these crystals. These open spaces absorb sound waves creating that serene quiet that happens right after a snow storm.
One study found that just two inches of snow can absorb 60% of sound waves. The lighter and fluffier the snow, the better it will be at absorbing sound waves.
The quiet from snowfall is something you only see with fresh snow. Once the snow starts to melt, the opposite happens. When the snow melts, refreezes, and turns into ice, it can actually get louder. Ice reflects sound waves and sends them back out to your ears. So that serene quiet is gone.