A popular shorthand in fiction is to use snow as a direct indicator of how cold the weather is, and the amount of snow indicates the amount of refrigeration. The reasoning is that snow falls when the temperature is cold, so when the temperature is ''very'' cold there should be ''lots'' of snow. This is not how it works in real life - the colder it gets, the less likely significant snowfall is. In fiction, though? When the temperature drops, get ready for a blizzard.

This trope usually appears in fictional works in one of two ways:

# An area with moderate or warm climate experiences a sharp drop in temperature, whereupon it gets hit with a sudden appearance of snow, such as a blizzard with gale-force winds. If the BigBad uses his WeatherControlMachine to chill the planet, expect to see a snow-draped Miami complete with icicle-covered palm trees.
# Snowfall is used as a visual indicator of how cold something is. This typically happens for comedic effect, such as a FunnyAnimal opening a refrigerator door and getting blasted by a flurry of snow. If the temperature drops further, the amount of snow will increase accordingly. This is a case of RealityIsUnrealistic, as snow generally only occurs around the freezing point. It won't snow at all if it's bitterly cold out.

When this happens to individuals, then the trope is InstantIceJustAddCold. Also see FreezeRay, HollywoodScience, WeatherDissonance, EndlessWinter, and ElementalBaggage.

For more details for the scientific reasons involved, see [[UsefulNotes/SnowMeansCold the Useful Notes page.]]
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!!Examples:

[[AC:ComicBooks]]
* Nearly every occurrence of Franchise/{{Batman}} villain Mr. Freeze ever. If he's generating sub-zero temperatures, expect lots of snow and ice to instantly appear, even if it's in the middle of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desert#Water the Atacama Desert]] or the vacuum of outer space.
* In DC's ''FinalNight'' CrisisCrossover, (in which the [[PlanetEater Sun Eater]] does ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin) there was a lot of snow. Although the point was made that as it continued, the snow would eventually stop, because all the moisture would have already frozen out of the air.
* {{Storm}} from ComicBook/{{X-Men}} is sometimes shown to make it snow in the middle of the savannah in flashbacks. (At least it's not a desert.)

[[AC:{{Film}}]]
* Averted in ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles''; Frozone can't generate ice in a burning building because of the lack of humidity. In normal conditions, he's able to summon impressive amounts of ice from thin air, possibly because he lives in a coastal city and can also use some of the water in his body. This is another example of RealityIsUnrealistic: a major byproduct of most combustion is [=H2O=]; Frozone should not have a problem finding water in a burning building.
** Unless he absorbs water at an accelerated rate and uses his internal stores to make the ice. Can't breathe in the [=H2O=]-laden smoke, no matter how useful it might be to generate ice in a burning environment.
** The scene immediately after that has him drinking a (small) cup of water to produce ice again.
* The novelization of ''Film/StarTrekIVTheVoyageHome'' averts this. While the probe's blotting out the sun causes snow in many cities, in St. Petersburg, it is too cold to snow.
* Subverted in ''Film/FantasticFour: Rise of the Silver Surfer'', when the Surfer's passage causes snow to fall on the Great Sphinx outside Giza, Egypt ... ''without'' a corresponding drop in temperature.
* Played very straight in ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'' -- when Elsa loses control of her powers in the middle of the summer, the countryside quickly turns cold and snow begins to fall.

[[AC:Literature]]
* In the ''DoctorWhoNewAdventures'' novel ''Sky Pirates!'', which takes place in a PocketDimension that runs on RuleOfFunny, when the Doctor's companions find themselves in a cabin on an ice planet, they periodically open the door, say "T'aint a fit night out for man nor beast" and get hit by a flurry of snow. Eventually, they find the penguin with the bucket and make him stop.

[[AC:LiveActionTV]]
* On ''Series/GeneralHospital'', [[MadScientist Mikkos Cassadine]] used "carbonic snow" to instantly create a blizzard in Port Charles during the middle of a long hot summer.
* In a flashback on ''{{Series/Heroes}}'', Alice Shaw makes it snow in the desert as a test of her weather-manipulation powers.
* ''Series/TheDailyShow'' recently had a field day with people who tried to use this trope to "[[YouFailLogicForever prove]]" that {{global warming}} wasn't real.
* In ''BeakmansWorld'', every episode is [[BookEnds begun, ended,]] and [[ReactionShot occasionally interrupted]] by a scene of two [[FunnyAnimal talking]] [[EverythingIsBetterWithPenguins penguins]] watching the show from the South Pole. It is perpetually snowing during all of their scenes, which is particularly interesting because in one rapid-fire Q&A session, Beakman explicitly points out that the South Pole actually gets very little snow.

[[AC:NewspaperComics]]
* ''ComicStrip/{{Frazz}}'': Invoked in [[http://i.imgur.com/muJoZ.gif this strip]] with a GeniusBonus for climatologists.
-->To explain: Mrs. Olsen cites the [[SnowMeansCold heavy snowfall as proof that "global warming is a crock."]] Actually, because snowfall occurs due to humidity, excessive snowfall occurs when there's more humidity in the atmosphere, due to increased evaporation of the Earth's oceans and ice packs. Ergo, the heavy snowfall would be evidence ''for'' global warming, not against it.

[[AC:VideoGames]]
* In ''Videogame/TeslaTheWeatherMan'', Tesla's Snow ability controls the temperature. More snow = lower temperature.
* Microsoft Flight Simulator: When the surface temperature is below 0C, the ground texture is snow. Period. Regardless of what the weather's actually doing, little details like elevation, humidity, latitude, etc.

[[AC:WebOriginal]]
* Parodied by ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'' in the "Lord Slug" special, as Goku sees it snowing... and immediately decides it ''must'' be Christmas. Despite it being ''July''.

[[AC:WesternAnimation]]
* The original ''Franchise/TransformersGeneration1'' cartoon episode "Fire In the Sky" has the Decepticons tapping the Earth's geothermal energy and chilling the planet. The Autobots become suspicious when it begins snowing in July at their desert base.
* In the ''Franchise/GIJoe'' miniseries "The Revenge of Cobra", the Joes attack Cobra's desert base to stop the villains from using their rebuilt Weather Dominator. Among Destro's weather attacks is an instant snowstorm.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1987'' episode "Take Me To Your Leader," Shredder and Krang use a Solar Siphon to drain the sun's energy and make the Earth cold. The turtles discover something's amiss when it starts snowing in July.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'', it always snows in Sandy's treedome during winter. This appears most prominently in "Survival of the Idiots", but it also pops up briefly in "Bubble Buddy".
* In ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManAndHisAmazingFriends,'' Spidey and Iceman first met during a LetsYouAndHimFight situation. Iceman got Spider-Man's attention by causing a freak blizzard during the summer. Iceman wasn't seen actually throwing snow around to do it (as comic Iceman would likely have to. Making ice constructs and changing weather patterns aren't the same power; he isn't Storm.) but appeared to be just willing it to happen.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'' saw XANA try to bury France in an EndlessWinter to get at the protagonists. It was already snowing, but it was there to drive home the point that the temperatures were dropping deep into the negatives; hell, [[spoiler:Yumi ''almost'' dies of hypothermia in Ulrich's arms, only to be saved by a return to the past]].
* Played with in the ''WesternAnimation/ZigAndSharko'' episode "Cold Snap". In it, the island and surrounding sea is suddenly covered in snow and ice, but it only snowed briefly to cover the area in snow and ice. Otherwise, the snow doesn't fall.

[[AC: Other]]
* Whenever a large snowstorm occurs, expect to see members of certain political factions ranting about how "the climate can't be getting warmer because of all this snow!" or something to that effect
** However, the increase of snowfall at this point ''is'' a symptom of climate change. Namely, it is caused by a decrease ice on large bodies of water in winter, allowing more liquid water to evaporate and ascend into the atmosphere in winter and come down as snow.
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