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.
Mother Nature Network outlines the formation of snow in the following steps. First, snow forms when there is atmospheric lift, which means that warm, moist air gets stuck above colder air. This happens especially readily above lakes and other large bodies of water when temperature instability occurs because cold air collides with the warmer water vapor. Second, once atmospheric lift occurs, the water vapor condenses onto pollen and dust particles that are also in the air. Third, once it condenses onto the particles, the cold temperatures cause it to freeze. Finally, these frozen particles attract even more water vapor, which crystallize and eventually form snowflakes.
Although snowflakes are infinitesimal, they have symmetrical shapes because that is the way water molecules are organized. Each snowflake has six sides or arms. The shape, though, depends largely on the temperature at which the snowflake was formed. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration points out that the colder the temperature, the flatter the snowflake. Warmer temperatures tend to produce long needle-like snowflakes.Learn More
Snowflakes form when a droplet of water vapor freezes onto a dust particle or pollen grain in the sky, creating an ice crystal. As the crystal falls, more water vapor freezes onto the original crystal, creating new crystals, which form the six arms of the snowflake.Full Answer >
When the weather begins to get warm after it has snowed and the snow begins to melt, there are actually a number of complex and important physical processes taking place. Heat is absorbed and converts the snow particles into water, which then makes its way to the ground. A number of different important factors can determine the rate at which this snow melting process takes place.Full Answer >
Snow flurries refers to light snowfall with no accumulation on the ground, and snow showers is the term used to describe light to moderate snowfall where a small amount of accumulation is possible. A snow shower starts and stops suddenly and snow flurries can fall on and off all day.Full 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.Full Answer >