Snow

A:

On average, snow weighs between 7 pounds per cubic foot and 20 pounds per cubic foot, according to North Dakota State University. The discrepancies can be attributed to the physical state of the ice, its depth and the atmospheric temperature; fluffy snow is light, while compacted snow is heavier.

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  • What shape is a snowflake?

    Q: What shape is a snowflake?

    A: While each and every snowflake can be generally said to be a hexagonal (six-sided) crystal, snowflakes come in many forms, from simple prisms and solid columns that look like rock crystals to the iconic and intricate flakes like stellar dendrites and simple stars. There are a variety of factors in play when it comes to the shape of each individual snowflake, including temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure. A temperature difference of just a few degrees can mean the difference between one type of snowflake shape, such as a columnar needle, and another, such as a stellar plate.
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  • What causes a snowstorm?

    Q: What causes a snowstorm?

    A: Snowstorms occur when the moisture in clouds freezes and falls to the ground, causing precipitation. The temperature at ground level must also be below freezing.
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  • What percentage of fresh snow is composed of air?

    Q: What percentage of fresh snow is composed of air?

    A: Fresh snow is generally comprised of between 90 and 95 percent air. The presence of trapped air makes snow a good insulator, so animals often construct snow caves in which to hibernate. The snow closest to the ground is warmest and stays insulated by the air composition.
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  • What causes it to snow?

    Q: What causes it to snow?

    A: 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.
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  • How many sides does a snowflake have?

    Q: How many sides does a snowflake have?

    A: Though their crystalline structure may manifest in a variety of unique shapes and patterns, all snowflakes have six sides. Because the molecules that build up to form a snowflake are made of water, these molecules fit together in a specific and predictable way that will always result in a six-sided crystal. Water molecules may occasionally form 12-sided ice crystals, but this multiple of six is the only known exception to the six-side rule, according to NPR.org.
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  • How do avalanches happen?

    Q: How do avalanches happen?

    A: Avalanches occur when snow builds up to unstable levels on a steep surface, causing it to slide and fall. This can be due to a lack of vegetation supporting the snow, multiple layers of snow or ice, an increase in temperature or too heavy a snowfall over a short period.
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  • Where does it snow in November?

    Q: Where does it snow in November?

    A: It snows in Europe, America, Canada and Japan in November. In Europe, it snows in mid-November in France, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. In America, November snow falls mostly in New York, Colorado, Utah, and Minnesota. In Canada, snow falls largely in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Manitoba and Quebec. In Japan, snow season starts in November.
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  • How much does snow weigh?

    Q: How much does snow weigh?

    A: On average, snow weighs between 7 pounds per cubic foot and 20 pounds per cubic foot, according to North Dakota State University. The discrepancies can be attributed to the physical state of the ice, its depth and the atmospheric temperature; fluffy snow is light, while compacted snow is heavier.
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  • How big can snowflakes get?

    Q: How big can snowflakes get?

    A: As of 2014, the book of Guinness World Records reports the largest snowflake to have been 15 inches wide and 18 inches deep, based on an eyewitness report in 1887. The report has not been proven, and scientists confirm that large snowflakes usually range from 2 to 6 inches wide.
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  • Q: What are some fun things to do in the snow?

    A: Have an ice cube scavenger hunt by coloring ice cubes with food coloring and hiding them outdoors. Make a list of clues, and offer a prize to the person who completes the hunt first.
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  • Q: What is snow made of?

    A: Snow is made out of tiny ice crystals that stick together. The tiny ice crystals form when the temperatures are low and there is moisture in the atmosphere.
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  • Q: What is a snow squall?

    A: A snow squall is defined as an intense, heavy snowfall with strong winds and a possibility of lightning. The amount of snowfall is significant. Another term used to describe a snow squall is a whiteout.
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  • Where does it snow in the world?

    Q: Where does it snow in the world?

    A: Snow falls in Earth's regions that experience freezing temperatures and regular precipitation. Snow covers much of the Earth's polar regions for the entire year. At lower latitudes, snowfall varies according to season and elevation, and consistent coverage occurs only in places with high elevation and cold climate, according to NASA's Earth Observatory webpage.
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  • Is snow edible?

    Q: Is snow edible?

    A: Snow is made up of small ice crystals and is perfectly edible most of the time. The only time it is potentially dangerous to eat snow is when it is contaminated.
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  • Q: What problems are common with Toro snow blowers?

    A: Some common problems with Toro snow blowers include unresponsive engines, the engine running but not moving and spark plug failures. Some of these problems occur as a result of human error, while others are caused by mechanical failures.
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  • Q: Where do avalanches occur in the world?

    A: Avalanches can occur anywhere in the world where there is snowfall buildup at a particular angle. The Alpine countries of France, Austria, Switzerland and Italy have the greatest number of avalanches and loss of life annually. In the United States, which ranks fifth in avalanche danger, Colorado, Alaska and Utah are the most deadly states.
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  • Q: What are truck plows used for?

    A: Truck plows are used for private snowplowing, a necessary part of life in any area where municipal plowing services are not timely or a private driveway is too long to shovel alone. Truck plows are large, complex machines mounted on the front end of a pickup truck and adjusted via hydraulics.
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  • What is "onion snow"?

    Q: What is "onion snow"?

    A: "Onion snow" refers to the last snowfall of the winter season and is said to mark the beginning of spring. It received its name because onions are planted in early spring, and the later snow fall covers them, providing small portions of beneficial moisture.
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  • Q: How does snow form?

    A: 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.
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  • Q: What is the difference between hail and snow?

    A: Hail is a form of precipitation that consists of hard spheres of ice that range from 0.2 to 6 inches in diameter. Snow is water that has crystallized in the atmosphere before falling.
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  • Q: What can you see on the Potter County snowcam?

    A: The Potter County snow cams are devoted to 24-hour monitoring of the surrounding area for snow. Potter County has several snowmobile locations, and the cams offer terrain and weather information for those seeking to enjoy the snowy conditions.
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