Snowflakes: shapes and sizes
- March 22, 2020
- A snowflake is formed when a cold water droplet freezes onto a nucleus (dust particles or pollen grains) in supersaturated clouds.
- Their shape is influenced by differing temperature and humidity zones in the atmosphere, and may be categorized in 10 broad classifications and at least 80 individual variants, knowing that individual snowflakes differ in detail from one another.
- As for the size, it depends on how many ice crystals have collided. When the temperature is slightly warmer than 0°C, the ice crystals will begin to melt and stick together, resulting in big and heavy snowflakes. When the air is dry and cool, the ice crystals won’t stick together, and the flakes will have a powdery structure which is the best for skiing.
- The first person to photograph snowflakes was Wilson Bentley, who took more than 5000 photos using a microscope attached to a camera in 1885.