Snow

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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?

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    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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  • How much does snow weigh?

    Q: How much does snow weigh?

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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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  • 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 big can snowflakes get?

    Q: How big can snowflakes get?

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    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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  • What causes a snowstorm?

    Q: What causes a snowstorm?

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    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 causes it to snow?

    Q: What causes it to snow?

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    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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  • 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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  • Where does it snow in November?

    Q: Where does it snow in November?

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    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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  • Q: Does it snow over the ocean ?

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    Any major body of water, including the ocean, can experience snow. If temperatures are cold enough, snow forms over warm bodies of water as cold air moves into the area.

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  • Q: What are the climatic conditions that lead to a snowy day?

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    A cloud containing a sufficient amount of water vapor at a temperature at or below freezing and an updraft to keep the ice crystals forming are generally required for a snowy day. If the atmosphere and ground temperature remain at or below freezing, the snow can reach the ground.

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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 the difference between hail and snow?

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    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: How does snow occur?

    A:

    Snowflakes form in the atmosphere when extremely cold water droplets form frozen crystals around tiny particles of dust or pollen. When these ice crystals fall closer to the ground, water vapor freezes onto the primary crystal and snowflakes grow larger with more crystals. This frozen water creates six-sided crystals.

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  • Q: What is a snow squall?

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    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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  • Q: Can the temperature be too cold to snow?

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    It can never be too cold to snow. However, heavier snowfall occurs when the temperature near the ground is 15 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Warmer temperatures allow more water vapor to stay in the air.

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  • Q: Why does snow sometimes turn black?

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    Black snow is generally created as snowflakes fall through ash, soot or petroleum-based pollutants. Snow is also sometimes found in a variety of colors, including red, blue, orange, brown and yellow.

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  • Is snow edible?

    Q: Is snow edible?

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    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: At what temperature does snow stick?

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    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: 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: 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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