All over the world, winter means cold weather. In many places, it is so cold that special types of weather, like frost, snow, and ice, are common. But winter fun doesn't have to be limited to building snowmen and riding on sleds. Every snow day is an opportunity to learn something new and exciting about the science of winter weather.
"Measuring, recording and charting daily, weekly or monthly rainfall is a fun winter experiment. In this winter experiment, you'll make your own rain gauge, and learn how to chart your results." The Learning Channel's How Stuff Works presents four winter weather experiments: making frozen bubbles, how to measure rainfall, how to calculate wind chill factors, and how to assess the affects of hail. For more indoor winter fun, check out the links to winter crafts and snow games.
"It is said that no two snowflakes are the same, but they can be classified into types of crystals." Learn how to capture snowflakes, view them with a magnifying glass or microscope, and differentiate between the different types of snow crystals. "Don't expect to easily find a perfect six-sided snowflake. They occur less than 25% of the time. Why? Because a snowflake has a bumpy and difficult journey on it's way to earth. Each flake is buffeted by wind, water and other snowflakes."
"The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) supports research into our world's frozen realms: the snow, ice, glaciers, frozen ground, and climate interactions that make up Earth's cryosphere." That's why this site is a great resource for high-school students writing reports. Sections include snow facts, Q &A, and a photo gallery of historic blizzards, unusual snow formations and avalanches. For further study, there are links in the right-hand column to more snow science sites.
Fun graphics and simple explanations make Weather Wiz Kids a sure hit for elementary and middle-school students. "Why is snow white? Bright snow blinds us with its gleaming white color because it reflects beams of white light. Instead of absorbing light, snow's complex structure prevents the light from shining through its lattice formation." The site includes an introduction to winter storms, a glossary of common winter weather terms, and ideas on how to stay safe during winter weather. Don't miss the experiments at the very bottom of the page.
Learn the basics of winter weather , and then test your knowledge with dozens of true/false questions. To see the correct answer, roll your mouse the True/False icons. Do blizzards form where there is high atmospheric pressure? Is a blizzard a snowstorm? The navigation is a bit confusing, because the first two items in the blue graphic menu both take you to the same quiz. It's the third link "How in the World do Blizzards Form?" that takes you to the article about winter weather.