Interesting Facts about Snow

vellur By vellur, 6th Aug 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>News>Education

This article is all about snow. Snow forms when water vapor suspended in the air condenses directly into ice crystals, read on to know more about snow.

What is snow?

Snow is made up of frozen water or ice. Water from the rivers, lakes and oceans evaporate and rise above to form clouds.

When the temperatures are below freezing point, water vapor in the air condenses directly to form ice crystals without transforming into water first.

These ice crystals collect more and more water vapor from the surrounding air, freeze and grow in size and fall to the ground as snow.

A snowflake can be a single ice crystal or a collection of ice crystals.

How does snow form?

The formation of snow starts off with a tiny droplet of water freezing around a particle of dust or pollen in the clouds.

The cold air freezes the tiny droplets of water into ice crystals. Each ice crystal varies in shape depending upon the temperature and water vapor content of the surrounding air.

If the temperature is below freezing point more water vapor condenses onto the sides of the ice crystal growing in size. When these ice crystals grow in size and become very heavy they fall to the ground as snow.

Some of the most common shapes of ice crystals are hexagonal prisms, needles, branching star like formations, branching fern like formations, triangles, rimmed crystals.

What is lake-effect snow?

Lake-effect snow forms in winter when a mass of very cold air passes over a lake that has a water temperature warmer than the cold air passing through.

When this happens the lower layers of cold air becomes warm and rises up. As the warm air rises above it gets cooled again and condenses to form clouds. Snow forms from these clouds and falls down on the surface of the lake and surrounding areas as lake-effect snow.

What is sleet?

In UK, Canada and Australia sleet is defined as snow that has melted partially when it falls to the ground.

In USA sleet is defined as frozen raindrops that fall to the ground in the form of small ice pellets. Sleet is also referred to as slush or wet snow.

Heavy snowfalls are called snowstorms. A blizzard is a snowstorm with extremely cold temperatures along with winds blowing at high speeds.

More about Snow

Fear of snow is called Chionophobia.

Around 12 % of the earth’s surface on land is covered with permanent snow and ice.

Snow reflects a high level of UV radiations that can cause snow blindness also known as photokeratitis. Sunglasses help to protect the eye from such radiations.

According to the Guinness World Records the largest snowflake recorded was 15 inches wide and 8 inches thick. The record snowfall took place in eastern Montana on 28th January 1887.

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Image Credit

Land covered in snow

Snow Flake

Lake Effect Snow


Education, Facts, Facts About Snow, Geography, Snow, Weather

Meet the author

author avatar vellur
Hi!! My name is Mrs. Nithya Venkat. Writing is my passion, nature my inspiration. I write about topics that interest me.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
8th Aug 2015 (#)

Interesting facts, thanks Vellur. I have never lived in a place to experience snow fall - siva

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author avatar peachpurple
8th Aug 2015 (#)

Does the snowflake really looks that way? I thought it is just a cotton ball

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author avatar M G Singh
9th Aug 2015 (#)

Great post with tons of info. Thanks

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author avatar vellur
9th Aug 2015 (#)

Siva thank you.

peachpurple snowflakes are ice crystals.

Madan G Singh thank you.

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author avatar snerfu
9th Aug 2015 (#)

Thank you vellur.

I have never seen snow and I think it is very very cold.
I don't like cold very much. But the article is good...not so cold.

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author avatar Legend
9th Aug 2015 (#)

Well, it is summer now where I am but reading about snow is cool

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author avatar vellur
10th Aug 2015 (#)

snerfu thank you, the sun makes everyone happy and warm!

Legend oh yes it is chill!

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
10th Aug 2015 (#)

Thanks for sharing your article on snow. Every year during the winter season we get lots of snow. Sometimes blizzards and that's when it gets really interesting. It actually can be quite dangerous but the first snowfall is always beautiful. I just took it for granted that everyone had experienced snow but that appears to be not true. I loved the pictures!

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author avatar vellur
16th Aug 2015 (#)

Nancy CZERWINSKI yes blizzards can be really dangerous. Thank you for reading.

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author avatar Ptrikha
8th Sep 2015 (#)

Very informative. I have seen snowfall once in my life and the experience was great.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
12th Sep 2015 (#)

ilove i love this piece...many thanks...

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author avatar vellur
13th Sep 2015 (#)

cnwriter carolina, thank you!

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author avatar Souvik
6th Oct 2015 (#)

Excellent article Vellur, the words are as fascinating as the images.

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author avatar vellur
8th Oct 2015 (#)

Souvik, thank you.

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