Snowflakes and snow crystals are basically the same, a crystal is one tiny bit of ice, snowflakes are many snow crystals stuck together. Check out the facts about snowflakes below!
Many of us love to see the first piece of snow in the winter, although wish it would only stop at the one snowflake.
Snowflakes are not frozen raindrops. Frozen raindrops are known as sleet. Snow crystals are formed when water vapour freezes, which all happens up in the clouds.
Snowflakes are also formed in the clouds, this happens when water droplets freeze and become ice particles. Water vapour in the cloud assembles on the ice particle, causes it to stretch into a basic hexagonal prism and then to shoot branches to create a more difficult and complex shape, once this has happened snowflakes then change even more to make them unique. The temperature and dampness of the cloud constantly changes, which affects the shape of each snowflake. Although snowflakes can change shape so quickly, the hexagonal symmetry is kept.
“Snowflakes can be categorized into six main types, plate (flat), column, stars, dendrite, lacy, needle, and capped column. When it is extremely cold the snow is very fine and powdery and snowflakes become quite simple in design, usually needle or rod shaped. When the temperature is near to freezing point (0 degrees Celsius), snowflakes become much larger and a lot more complex in design”. There are 35 main snowflakes which you could recognise from just looking closely at.
“It is indeed extremely unlikely that two complex snowflakes will look exactly alike. It’s so extremely unlikely; in fact, that even if you looked at every one ever made you would not find any exact duplicates”.
According to the Guinness World Records, the largest snowflake in the world was 15 inches wide and 8 inches thick. This was recorded in January 1887 by somebody called Matt Coleman at Fort Keogh, Montana, he said that the snowflake was “larger than milk pans”.