Q:

What causes it to snow?

A:

Quick Answer

Snow occurs when water droplets in clouds freeze, and these droplets then act as a nucleus onto which molecules of water vapor adhere, forming larger ice crystals. Once the growing snowflake is too heavy for the movement of air in the clouds to support, it falls to the ground. Snow can form in any clouds that are below freezing temperature but only does so under the right conditions.

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What causes it to snow?
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Clouds below freezing temperature do not automatically produce snowflakes. This is because water droplets do not necessarily freeze even at temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Water droplets in clouds can be supercooled because their molecules must randomly encounter each other in the right way to begin the freezing process. In clouds warmer than minus 31 degrees Fahrenheit, this requires a tiny solid particle to act as a nucleus for crystallization. Particles of clay, dust or biological substances can fill this role, as well as human-introduced nuclei such as silver nitrate or dry ice.

Individual snowflakes vary in shape by the temperature at which they formed. They alternate between flat, plate-like shapes and longer, thin shapes as temperature decreases. The nuclei on which the snowflakes formed also influences their final shape. Most snowflakes are visibly irregular.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where does snow come from?

    A:

    Snow forms in the atmosphere when the proper temperature and moisture conditions are met. For snow to materialize, temperatures must be below freezing, or around 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and there must be a slight amount of moisture present in the air. In order for snow to have the best chance of reaching the ground, temperatures must be at or below freezing.

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  • Q:

    Why is snow cold?

    A:

    Snow is cold because it is formed by water crystals combining, a process that can only occur when the temperature falls to 35 degrees Fahrenheit or below. When the temperature is over 35 degrees Fahrenheit, the precipitation is made of sleet or rain.

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  • Q:

    How does snow occur?

    A:

    Snowflakes form in the atmosphere when extremely cold water droplets form frozen crystals around tiny particles of dust or pollen. When these ice crystals fall closer to the ground, water vapor freezes onto the primary crystal and snowflakes grow larger with more crystals. This frozen water creates six-sided crystals.

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  • Q:

    Where does it snow in November?

    A:

    It snows in Europe, America, Canada and Japan in November. In Europe, it snows in mid-November in France, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. In America, November snow falls mostly in New York, Colorado, Utah, and Minnesota. In Canada, snow falls largely in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Manitoba and Quebec. In Japan, snow season starts in November.

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