When the desert sees its share of snow, it does not usually last very long. As seen in the video, we received 6 1/2 inches of snow in one day. In 4 days all the snow had mostly melted away with the exception of the mountain areas. This was in Southern New Mexico, where 3 inches around this time of year is average.
Snow melts more slower in shadowy areas, like the north side of the sand dunes as seen in the video where the sun does not get to at this time of year.
The snow can be melted and drank as is if it was taken from a clean area of the ground. There is caution given about eating snow without first melting it. The caution being that doing so would lower your body core temperature making you more prone to hypothermia.
If the weather is warm and you need to hydrate, consuming small amounts of un-melted snow should not be a large factor.
In the video I gave a demonstration about how much water you would get if you melted the snow first. In this demonstration the snow was semi-wet and compacted very well. A one gallon plastic bag produced about a half gallon of water. Had the snow been more powdery and harder to compact, it would produce even less. Heating the snow in a fire would cause even more of the liquid to evaporate.
Water can still be found if all the ground snow was gone and the ground was still moist. As shown in the above picture and as demonstrated in the video, you can dig below ground and have a good chance of getting enough water to drink.
Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!