Snow

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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 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Q: Why is snow cold?

    A: Snow is cold because it is formed by water crystals combining, a process that can only occur when the temperature falls to 35 degrees Fahrenheit or below. When the temperature is over 35 degrees Fahrenheit, the precipitation is made of sleet or rain.
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  • Q: How are snowflakes formed?

    A: Snowflakes form when a droplet of water vapor freezes onto a dust particle or pollen grain in the sky, creating an ice crystal. As the crystal falls, more water vapor freezes onto the original crystal, creating new crystals, which form the six arms of the snowflake.
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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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  • 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: What is a snow storm?

    A: Snowstorms are storms characterized by a significant volume of snow with accompanying high wind. A massive snowstorm with intense snowfall and strong winds that lasts for a long period of time is called a blizzard.
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  • Q: At what temperature does snow stick?

    A: When the temperature of the ground is 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below, snow sticks. When the atmospheric temperature is at or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and there is a minimal amount of moisture in the air, snow forms. The heaviest snowfalls typically occur when temperatures hover around 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
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  • Q: Where can you buy a reliable snow machine?

    A: Reliable snow machines for various snow amounts are sold at retailers like Snowathome.com and Snowmakers.com. Used snow machines are also available on eBay.com for those looking for a budget option.
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  • Q: Why are snowflakes white?

    A: Snowflakes are white because they reflect most of the light that hits them. Since visible light is white and snowflakes reflect that light, snow generally appears white in color while falling through the air or blanketing the ground. Exceptions exist, however, and deep snow sometimes looks blue on the ground.
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  • Q: Are snow chains required on four-wheel-drive vehicles?

    A: Snow chains are not necessary for cars that come equipped with traction aids such as four-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive vehicles are able to navigate snowy weather.
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  • Q: Can it snow above 32 degrees ?

    A: Snow forms only when the temperature in the atmosphere is at least 32 degrees Fahrenheit and the air has at least a bit of moisture. In general, snow does not occur if ground temperatures are at least 41 degrees Fahrenheit.
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  • Q: What is a level three snow emergency?

    A: A level three snow emergency is when all roads are closed to the public, and only emergency personnel may enter. People who drive on the roads may be arrested unless there is an emergency.
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  • Q: How do you cut a snowflake?

    A: You can cut paper snowflakes into an endless number of designs by folding paper and cutting notches around the edges. Make holiday snowflakes with plain office paper, construction paper, card stock or designer paper. You need a pair of scissors and, if desired, glitter, sequins or other decorations.
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