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Let It Snow!

Have you ever looked closely at a snowflake? Snowflakes are actually pretty neat. Snowflakes are not frozen raindrops. Instead they grow from water vapor that comes from evaporating cloud droplets. When the weather gets cold, the droplets inside a cloud start to freeze. As soon as a single droplet turns to ice, it begins growing into a snowflake. 

The average snowflake measures around a half an inch. Large snowflakes range from three to four inches in length. You need a magnifying glass to see the snowflake’s beautiful shape!

In 1880 a man named Wilson A. Bentley decided he had to know more about snowflakes. Bentley purchased a microscope and went outside when it snowed to view a close-up of a snowflake. Bentley studied snowflakes for the next forty years and was nicknamed Snowflake Bentley. He took over 5000 photographs of snowflakes and developed a system for categorizing over 80 different types of flakes.

Did you know?

  • All snowflakes have six sides
  • No two snowflakes are alike
  • It takes 100,000 tiny cloud droplets to make a single snowflake.
  • The largest snowflake ever recorded was 15 inches in diameter!
  • The average snowflake falls at a speed of 3.1 miles per hour


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