Snowflakes - Science of Winter's Wonder

Watch and learn about snowflakes.

Frost & Flakes
Bay Buddies / By Kathleen Gaskell - Bay Journal

Snow and ice have been in the news for most of the Bay watershed lately. Did you know that temperature, and to a lesser extent, the amount of water vapor, determines the shape of a snowflake? Because of updrafts, a snow crystal may travels through various temperature ranges before hitting the ground, resulting in a crystal that is a combination of shapes. See if you can match up the snow crystal with its temperature range(s).

1) 25°–32° F

2) 21°–25° F

3) 14°–21° F & _ -8°

4) 10°–14° F &

-8°–3° F

5) 3°–10° F

You’re in a bit of a scrape because some form of ice has formed on the windows of your car or building. Can you match these icy terms with how each was formed?

6) Freezing Rain

7) Frost

8) Rime


B)Hollow columns


D)Sector Plates

E)Thin plates

F) Water vapor that turns to ice on an object

G) Super-cooled rain that turns to ice when it hits something

H) Drops of water freeze on contact, creating tiny, hollow balls of ice.
The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter's WonderSnowflakes


1-E, 2-C, 3-B, 4-D 5-A, 6-G, 7-F, 8-H

Kathleen A. Gaskell, the layout & design editor for the Bay Journal, has been involved with several environmental programs for children.

Frost & Flakes Bay Journal, March 2000

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