We’ve had very little snow this winter, but last week we had one of those classic snowfalls. Huge, glorious flakes. I watched the show from my backyard window and realized how much I had looked forward to seeing the white stuff. Yesterday, all the snow melted before I’d even gotten used to it. I wasn’t ready for it to go. To remember it, I decided to share some facts with you.
- Every winter, one septillion or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 snow crystals fall.
- Why so many? Probably because it takes almost a million crystals to make a snowflake.
- Not only that, there are about 180 billion molecules of water in an average snowflake.
- Snow, like water, actually is clear and colorless, even though it looks white.
- Snowflakes always have six sides.
- People believe each snowflake is unique. I can't dispute it.
Yet there are some general rules to their creation. No. 1: When the temperature is close to freezing, snowflakes are larger and more complex.
- No. 2: When the temperature is very cold, well below freezing, flakes are needle- or rod-shaped and simpler in design.
- In 1951 the International Commission on Snow and Ice produced a fairly simple and widely used classification system for solid precipitation. This system defines the seven principal snow crystal types as plates, stellar crystals, columns, needles, spatial dendrites, capped columns, and irregular forms. Here’s a chart to help clarify the different types. ...
- Of course, snowflakes never fall singularly. Often they came in storms. The United States experiences an average of 105 snowstorms a year.
- The intensity of the storm determines its name. A snowstorm is a heavy snowfall.
- A blizzard has wind and snow and obscures visibility. A snow shower, on the other hand, has intermittent precipitation. And, of course, flurries are the lightest and briefest snowfall.
- When it snows, the reported average amount of snowfall per day is about two inches.
- And what about mountain snow? Well, in the western United States, it provides 75 percent of the water supplies there.
Do you like snow? Has it snowed yet in your hometown? Please let me know. Thanks.
The snow pictures came from: http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/ If you’re a fan of snow, you should consider checking out this site.