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What Are Snowflakes

by Téo


What Are Snowflakes?
Written by Téo Dvorak
Nature’s Most Fantastic Design

The water cycle is a big and important system. It has gone on for millions of years. Imagine, you are outside and it starts to snow. You are interested so you take a closer look. Wow! You have discovered that they have magnificent shapes!
How are snowflakes formed?

Have you ever wondered how snowflakes are formed? First, in the clouds ice particles cover dust specks like sand sticking to wet feet. After that, ice particles connect and becomes bigger. Next, ice particles connect and turn into a snowflake. The snowflake connects to other snowflakes and grows big and heavy and finally falls to the ground. 
Why do snowflakes form different shapes? 

All snowflakes have six sides but can be different. They can be different by having thin branches like some stars, thick branches like trees, while some snowflakes have almost no branches at all. 

They form different shapes because of the temperature and humidity of the air. Colder air makes sharper tips on snowflakes. However, some snowflakes in warmer air have subtle shapes. Dry air makes simple shapes. In contrast, damp air makes complex shapes. Snowflakes can also be different by being big, fluffy, wet and heavy or small, crisp, light and powdery. 
Have you ever wondered what are some cool facts about hail balls, snow and snowflakes?

1. Did you know raindrops, snowflakes and hail balls are all made of water and form in clouds? 

2. Have you ever wondered if snow can have different colors? Well, deep snow can be white or blue.
3. An 8-inch hailstone (ball of ice) fell in South Dakota in 2010 almost like an asteroid coming to earth. 

4. In 1887 in Montana, people saw snowflakes that were 15 inches wide. 

5. Many people think no two snowflakes can be the same, but some people believe two snowflakes can be the same.

6. Do you know how fast snowflakes fall? Well, the average snowflake falls at 5 kilometers per hour. The average rain drop falls about five and a half times faster.

All in all, snow is formed by snowflakes connecting to dust specks and then becoming bigger and falling. Also, snowflakes form in different shapes. It depends on the temperature and humidity of the air. Snowflakes have very interesting shapes. If everyone keeps up this climate change, there will be a lot less snowflakes! Do you like snowflakes more because you learned more about them?