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Snow (in just the right amounts, at just the right time) is loved by all. But what exactly is the fluffy cold stuff, and how is made? Today’s winter tour examines the subject of snow through the eyes of scientists, weathermen, and just plain kids. Let it snow! Let is snow! Let it snow!
“Shoveling a few inches of snow off the front walk is a weighty chore. But raise the pile of wintry stuff to ninety-five feet and you have the world-record tonnage that blew, fluttered and fell in the winter of 1998 on the world’s officially snowiest place: Mount Baker, Washington.” Discovery.com presents a fascinating look at extreme snow, including a quiz (“What kind of snow is edible?”) and a photo gallery. An interactive Build Your Own Avalanche exercise (along with more on avalanches) can be found by following the link to Extreme Weather Guide.
Questions & Answers About Snow
“Is it ever too cold to snow? How big can snowflakes get? Why is snow white?” Everything you ever wanted to know about snow (but didn’t know who to ask) is answered here by the National Snow and Ice Data Center, affiliated with the University of Colorado. This educational site also includes a Snow Glossary (from “ablation” to “vapor pressure”) and a Snow Fact Sheet.
“This site is all about snow crystals and snowflakes. Although a common meteorological phenomenon, snow crystal growth is a fascinating and poorly understood process in which remarkably complex and beautifully symmetric structures appear, quite literally, out of thin air.”
Teel Family Kids Snow Page
“You can have a permanent record of your caught snowflakes if you freeze a piece of glass and the hair spray before the next snowfall. When you’re ready to collect some snowflakes, spray your chilled glass with the chilled hair spray and go outside and let some snowflakes settle on the glass. When you have enough flakes bring the glass indoors and allow it to thaw at room temperature for about fifteen minutes. Now you have a permanent record of your snowflakes!” The Teel family lives in Alaska, and obviously knows a lot about snow. Their site includes pages on Snow Science, Snow Art, Snow Literature and more.
Winter Weather Glossary
When the weatherman issues a heavy snow warning, he’s telling us that he expects at least six inches of snow on the ground in the next twelve hours but without any significant wind. A blizzard warning, on the other hand, would be falling snow accompanied by gusts of winds blasting at thirty-five miles an hour. At this USA Today page, you’ll learn all the official winter weather terminology, as defined by the National Weather Service.