Saturday, October 15, 2005

What is Snow?

A posting for my god-daughter in chilly Calgary.

Snow is not frozen rain. Snowflakes are created inside clouds by tiny ice crystals colliding and sticking together. Most snowflakes melt on their way to the ground and fall as rain. Only when the air near the ground is cold enough will snowflakes fall as snow. All snow crystals are six-sided (hexagonal) and no two snow crystals have ever been found to be identical. Some snowflakes can grow to be 5-7 cm (2-3 in) across. When fresh snow is moist enough to stick together, snowrollers may form on hillsides or in large fields. A ‘snowroller' is like a cylindrical snowball in shape and is blown by winds of more than 32 km/h (20 mph) until it grows too large to travel any farther. Snowrollers can reach nearly 1.5 m (4 ft) in diameter.

Snow can be Wet or Dry

When it is very cold, "dry" snow falls - the ice crystals do not stick together easily and the snow is fine and powdery - in very cold dry conditions ‘diamond dust' ice crystals may fall. At less cold temperatures near freezing point, "wet" snow falls and large snowflakes form, especially if there is no wind. There are lots of different types of snow, as skiers know only too well. The Inuit people of the Arctic have lots of different words for snow as they live among it all year round and so understand it extremely well.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

cq

7 comments:

Mary P. said...

I heard they'd had their first snow. Poor them! How old is your god-daughter?

No snow here yet, only rain. It's coming, though, it's coming. Bah, humbug. ;-)

craziequeen said...

My Boo is just turned 7 - and I haven't seen her since she was four.

Bit of a wrench after being a daily part of her and her mum's life since she was a baby.

But silentmum keeps me up to date with emails and photos, but it's not the same.

I try and do my god-motherly duties across 5,000 miles...and her mother keeps me alive in their thoughts.

We've just hit 'flood season' here - odd that the Brits are still so surprised that it rains and gales blow in October........it always does - it's called Autumn...

cq

CyberKitten said...

But we do keep having downpours of 'x' months worth of rain in 24 hours... We're used to rain... but monsoons.... that'll take a bit more getting used to...

Oh, and I heard that they had another Twister in Birmingham......

Mary P. said...

And here people are taken unaware every year when it snows. SUR-prise!! Just you watch: there will be a rash of fender-benders the week after the first snowfall. Happens every year, and then everyone says to themselves, "Oh, yeah. That white stuff. I remember. Makes the roads a bit slippery. It's all coming back now..."

craziequeen said...

oh good, it's not just us Brits then....... :-)

First sign of snow and we all behave like we left our brains behind in Summer.....

Snow? s'ok, we'll just drive as usual.........too fast, too close...we always have brakes, right?

cq

Juggling Mother said...

Ah, but at the first sign of summer we act as though we left our brains behind in winter too - hence the typically lobster coloured Brit on the beach:-)

GB has always had many twister each year - just that they are very short lived. Recently the BBC likes to tell us how many roof tiles got damaged in Birmingham, so suddenly it's a weather phenomenom!

WV cyzcrn - crazyqueen ha ha

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