Whether they love it or hate it, snow will be a big part for a lot of people. Here are some more interesting and intriguing facts about snow that you probably didn’t know!
The common notion that no two snowflakes are the same was finally disproved in 1998 when a scientist chanced upon two identical snowflakes, from a storm in Wisconsin.
The snowiest cities list in the US has been now updated, though: as of 2015, Syracuse, New York edges out Rochester as the snowiest US city, with an average snowfall of 110 inches per year.
The other forms of snow are sleet (ice pellets) and graupel (which is often confused with hail, but it actually consists of snow pellets).
In other words, snow is translucent. Which means the light does not pass through the snow (as a translucent glass would) but is instead reflected. And this reflection off the snow’s surface gives it its white appearance.
However, the speed of the snowflake fall isn’t that constant. It usually starts out slow, and sometimes the updrafts will cause the snowflake fall to slow itself down or completely halt, or even rise for a while.
In addition, this particular snowflake is also 8 inches thick. The Guinness Book of World Records listed this giant snowflake as the biggest one yet, at Fort Keogh, Montana in 1887.
This occurred in Silver Lake, Colorado, in April 1921. But this previous world record is now edged out by the municipality of Capracotta, Italy, which received an even more enormous 101 feet of snow piled up over an 18-hour period, on March 5, 2015.
What’s even more surprising is that Capracotta is located in southern Italy, which is too far from the Alps. But the town, which sits at 1,421 meters (4,662 feet) on sea level, has been known to experience enormous snowfalls on a good (or bad) day.
Each of the molecules in the ice crystals consists of an oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms. When fused with one another, they always form a hexagonal shape.
These 180 billion molecules have a mass of 5.4 picograms, which are too invisible to the naked eye.
Septillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 — that’s a HUGE amount of ice crystals!
The term derives from the Greek words chion (“snow”) and phobos (“fear”). The opposite is “chionophilia,” an obsessive love towards snow.
63 inches of snow fell in the city of Georgetown, Colorado, on December 4, 1913.
Among the 10 biggest snowstorms in US history are the Great Blizzard of 1899 (eastern US), The Great Lakes Storm of 1913 (Great Lakes Basin), The Knickerbocker Storm 1922 (upper south and middle Atlantic), The Armistice Day Blizzard 1940 (in the midwest) and the “Snowmageddon 2010” (midwest and the East Coast), among many others.
The majority of the ice- and-snow-covered areas are the polar regions (North and South Poles)