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Are You A Fan Of Winters? 67 Snowflakes Facts For Your Love Of Snow

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A snowflake is a solo ice crystal that has grown large enough to fall through the Earth's atmosphere.

A snowflake falls as snow and may have merged with others. Despite being formed of transparent ice, snowflakes look white due to the microscopic crystal facets diffusing the whole spectrum of light.

Snowflakes and snow crystals are almost identical. A crystal is a single speck of ice, while snowflakes are a collection of snow crystals frozen together. Each flake gathers around a dust particulate in supersaturated air masses by attracting supercooled cloud droplets of water, which freeze and accumulate in the crystal structure. Specific snowflakes vary in detail from one another. Still, they can be classified into eight main categories and at least 80 individual variations as they pass through different temperature and moisture zones in the environment.

In a regular year, almost a million billion snowflakes fall per second. As per snow specialist Nolan Doesken, the overwhelming majority of snowflakes fall at rates of 1-6 ft per second (30-183 cm per second). Snow melts when it absorbs enough heat from its surroundings to elevate its temperature over 32 F (0 C), which is the threshold at which water becomes liquid.

Snowflake: Formation

In moisture-saturated freezing air masses, snowflakes form around mineral or organic particles. Net accumulation of developing crystals in hexagonal shapes is how they develop. Electrostatic forces dominate the cohesive forces in snow crystals. To operate as a nucleus in hotter clouds, an aerosol particulate or 'ice nucleus' must be involved in (or in contact with) the droplet. After freezing like an ice nucleus, a water droplet expands in a supersaturated environment, where liquid moisture coexists alongside ice beyond its equilibrium limit at temperatures below freezing point.

Water molecules in the air (vapor) are subsequently deposited onto the snowflake's tiny surface, where they are gathered, and the droplet develops. As water droplets are so much more considerable than irregular snow crystals in number, the crystals can develop to hundreds of micrometers or millimeters in diameter at the cost of the water droplets owing to their sheer number. The Wegener–Bergeron–Findeisen process is the name given to this process.

As a result of the decrease in water vapor, the droplets evaporate, allowing the ice crystals to expand at the cost of the droplets. Because of their bulk, these huge crystals descend through the atmosphere and may meet and cling together in clusters or aggregates, making them an effective source of precipitation. These aggregates are often ice particles that fall to the ground like snowflakes.

History Of Snowflakes

With their peculiar six-fold symmetry, individual snow crystals were recognized as the fundamental constituents of falling snow for the first time in history. Around 135 BC, the first recorded narrative was written by Chinese thinker Han Yin. Snowflakes were first documented by European writers several decades later, with the oldest recorded mention coming from Olaus Magnus, a Scandinavian bishop, in 1555.

According to the famed Guinness Book of World Records, the largest snowflake in the world was 15 in (38 cm) broad and 8 in (20 cm) thick, documented by Matt Coleman on January 28, 1887, at Fort Keogh, Montana.

Different Designs Of Snowflakes

Snowflakes take on various complicated forms, giving rise to the phrase 'no two snowflakes are alike.' Even though virtually identical snowflakes have been created in the lab, they are very uncommon to be seen in nature. Ukichiro Nakaya devised a crystal morphology diagram that linked the shape of most snow crystals to the moisture and temperature conditions in which they originated. Most snow flakes' shape is dictated mainly by the temperature and humidity at which it forms.

Planar crystals (thin and flat) are formed by freezing air to 27 F (-3 C). The crystals form needles, prisms, or hollow columns in cooler air, down to 18 F (-8 C). Plate Crystals are formed again in the air as low as -8 F (-22 C), frequently with dendritic or branched patterns.

Magono and Lee developed another 80-shape categorization system for newly formed snow crystals. The needle crystal, columnar crystal with extended side planes, columnar crystal, plate crystal, irregular snow crystal, a mixture of columnar and plate crystals, rimed crystal, and germ of snow crystal are some of the several varieties of snowflakes.

Snow is also known to fall in the form of sleet or graupel. Graupel (also known as snow pellets) are opaque ice particles that develop in the environment when ice crystals fall through frozen raindrops, implying cloud particles that are colder than the freezing point of water but stay fluid. The freezing cloud droplets coalesce into a lumpy, mushy mass.

Fun Facts About Snowflakes

One of the amazing snowflake facts is snowflakes, like rain and sleet, are a kind of precipitation.

Other amazing snowflake facts include that the temperature to make snow should be lower than 32 F (0 C).

Snowflakes are made up of small ice crystals created when water vapor freezes in the environment.

The number of ice crystals that link together determines the size of a snowflake.

Around 200 ice crystals make up each snowflake.

Snowflakes have six sides at all times, which is one of the most interesting snowflake facts.

In 2007, North Dakota had the most snow angels formed in one spot, with 8,962 persons laying in deep snow and making snow angels.

In 1921, Silver Lake, Colorado, set the record for the greatest snowfall in a 24-hour duration in the US.

The largest snowflakes can grow to be as large as a penny. On average, 1 million billion snowflakes fall per second on the surface of the world.

It is a common belief that two snowflakes are never alike.

Written By
Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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