|‘Snow’ much to learn|
|Written by Holyoke Enterprise|
Snow is much more than white, wet and cold. There are many different facts about snow that make it unique and one of the more complex types of precipitation.
—Although snow appears white because of the countless tiny surfaces of each snowflake crystal reflecting most of the wavelengths of light, snowflakes are actually colorless. Snow may take on other colors thanks to particulates in the air or even from different strains of algae.
—Many places around the world hold world records pertaining to snow. The most snow to fall in a 24-hour period occurred in 1921 in Silver Lake, Colorado, where 76 inches of snow fell. However, the most snow to fall in one year took place on Mount Baker in the state of Washington. This area saw more than 1,000 inches of snowfall during the 1998-99 season.
—The world’s largest snow sculpture was called “Romantic Feelings” and was 656 feet long and 115 feet tall. The sculpture was on display at the International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in Heilongjiang Province in China.
—Snowflakes come in many different shapes, and their sizes are determined by how many ice crystals connect together.
—It can be too cold for snow to form. Without enough water droplets in the air, snow will not fall during extremely cold weather.
—The largest snowflakes ever recorded fell in the state of Montana. The snowflakes were 15 inches in diameter.
—The average snowflake falls at a speed of 3.1 miles per hour.
—Snow that has been compacted after multiple melting and refreezing cycles is known as snow pack.
—A snow storm describes a heavy snowfall that results in several inches of snowfall. A blizzard classifies a snow storm combined with wind, obscuring visibility.
—Snow will either melt or sublimate. Sublimation is when snow turns from a solid form into a gaseous form without an intermediary liquid phase.
—Snow can be heavy or light depending on its water content.
—An avalanche occurs when snow that has accumulated on a mountain is disturbed by a thermal or physical impact, which causes the snow to rush downhill in a large mass. Preceding an avalanche is a phenomenon known as an avalanche wind caused by the approaching avalanche itself, which adds to its destructive potential.
Holyoke Enterprise December 27, 2012