The best thing about winter is the first snowfall of the year. It’s fun to watch snowflakes fall from the sky and slowly cover the ground in a big sheet of white snow. But have you ever looked closely at a snowflake? Have you ever wondered how they’re made or how they get their unique shape?
Way up in the clouds, when it’s really cold, moisture may form around a dust particle and freeze, resulting in an ice crystal. This ice crystal will have six sides and is the beginning of a snowflake. This new snowflake is too heavy to stay in the cloud, and so begins to fall to the ground.
As it falls to the ground it will encounter different moisture levels and temperatures that will cause it to take different shapes. In colder temperatures, the snowflake may grow intricate branches called dendrites. In warmer temperatures the snowflake may grow slowly, resulting in a less complicated, smooth shape. By the time it reaches the ground, it will have grown and changed shapes multiple times.
Snowflakes don’t always have 6 similar sides, sometimes snowflakes can come out looking weird and lopsided. Sometimes snowflakes can be made up of just one ice crystal, or sometimes they can be made up of a bunch of ice crystals clumped together – you’ve probably seen this with really BIG, clumpy, snowflakes.
It’s said that no two snowflakes are the same, and that’s very true. Even snowflakes that look almost identical will have differences so tiny that you can’t see them with your eyes.
But no matter how they look, or how they fall, when snowflakes get together and cover the ground as snow, it makes for a really fun day outside!
This article was written by Admin