Have you ever heard that no two snowflakes have the same shape? If you have, have you ever wondered how that can be with the billions of snowflakes that fall each year? Well, there have been 2 snowflakes found that were identical. If someone says that phrase again, you can tell them the truth!
Snowflakes start as ice crystals that are the size of a speck of dust. When the crystals fall they join up with other crystals to form a snowflake. The size of the snowflake depends on how many crystals hook together. Snowflakes usually have six sides. Here are the different kinds of snowflake shapes.
Guess what, it can get cold enough that it doesn't snow! Because snow is frozen water, if there are not enough water droplets in the air it can't snow.
You probably know that it snows when water is lifted into the sky from rivers, lakes, and oceans as water vapor. You can not see water vapor but it is there. There is enough in the air to cover the earth with 3 feet of water. The warmer the air the more water vapor there is.
You can make your own cloud by breathing in cold weather. Or, try breathing on a mirror; there will be a clear gray cloud on it!
For it to snow the tops of the clouds must be below 0 degrees Celsius, or 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Snow can come from any cloud that is layered.
Sometimes the snow can be feet deep in one place while it is bare in another because the wind has blown all the snow off that spot.
As snow falls snowflakes connect to make bigger snowflakes.
Snow at the North and South Pole reflect heat into space!! That happens because the ice acts like a mirror with the heat of the sun, and the heat bounces off the ice and into space.