Snow occurs when water droplets in clouds freeze, and these droplets then act as a nucleus onto which molecules of water vapor adhere, forming larger ice crystals. Once the growing snowflake is too heavy for the movement of air in the clouds to support, it falls to the ground. Snow can form in any clouds that are below freezing temperature but only does so under the right conditions.Continue Reading
Clouds below freezing temperature do not automatically produce snowflakes. This is because water droplets do not necessarily freeze even at temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Water droplets in clouds can be supercooled because their molecules must randomly encounter each other in the right way to begin the freezing process. In clouds warmer than minus 31 degrees Fahrenheit, this requires a tiny solid particle to act as a nucleus for crystallization. Particles of clay, dust or biological substances can fill this role, as well as human-introduced nuclei such as silver nitrate or dry ice.
Individual snowflakes vary in shape by the temperature at which they formed. They alternate between flat, plate-like shapes and longer, thin shapes as temperature decreases. The nuclei on which the snowflakes formed also influences their final shape. Most snowflakes are visibly irregular.Learn more about Snow
Snow, which is made up of millions of ice crystals and air pockets, reflects all of the wavelengths of light in the visible spectrum. When combined, the reflected light wavelengths create a white color. All objects in the world get their color based on which wavelengths of light they absorb and which ones they reflect.Full Answer >
Snow forms when atmospheric water vapor freezes onto a pollen or dust particle, which creates an ice crystal. As it falls, more water vapor freezes onto the ice crystal to create snowflakes.Full Answer >
Snow flurries refers to light snowfall with no accumulation on the ground, and snow showers is the term used to describe light to moderate snowfall where a small amount of accumulation is possible. A snow shower starts and stops suddenly and snow flurries can fall on and off all day.Full Answer >
Cirrus clouds are made up of ice crystals that form when supercooled water droplets freeze. These wispy and thin clouds are usually at elevations higher than 20,000 feet and are created from other clouds that go through a process called glaciation. Cirrus clouds appear in a number of shapes and sizes and are commonly seen in areas with fair weather.Full Answer >