Q:

Is snow edible?

A:

Quick Answer

Snow is made up of small ice crystals and is perfectly edible most of the time. The only time it is potentially dangerous to eat snow is when it is contaminated.

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Is snow edible?
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Full Answer

Catching snowflakes on the tongue is a traditional wintertime game, and people often melt snow for drinking water or combine it with syrup to make a homemade snow cream dessert. Having been crystallized, snow is actually purer than other forms of precipitation. It may even be purer than tap water. The only cause for concern is if the snow has become contaminated while lying on the ground. Snow gathered from the top layer of the drift is usually safest. Dirty or colored snow must be avoided in all cases. Blue or green snow probably indicates the presence of algae, and brown, black or yellow snow certainly contains impurities. Clean white snow is usually perfectly safe.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How does snow form?

    A:

    Snow forms when atmospheric water vapor freezes onto a pollen or dust particle, which creates an ice crystal. As it falls, more water vapor freezes onto the ice crystal to create snowflakes.

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  • Q:

    How much does snow weigh?

    A:

    On average, snow weighs between 7 pounds per cubic foot and 20 pounds per cubic foot, according to North Dakota State University. The discrepancies can be attributed to the physical state of the ice, its depth and the atmospheric temperature; fluffy snow is light, while compacted snow is heavier.

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  • Q:

    What is a snow squall?

    A:

    A snow squall is defined as an intense, heavy snowfall with strong winds and a possibility of lightning. The amount of snowfall is significant. Another term used to describe a snow squall is a whiteout.

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  • Q:

    What causes it to snow?

    A:

    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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