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Mason City (641)423-1600 Change Location

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Mason City Change Location

2601 4th Street SW
Mason City, IA 50401

Tel.(641)423-1600

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10 Fun Facts About Snow

It is snow joke, Iowa and Minnesota have definitely received an abundance of snow this winter. Whether you love it (curled up on the couch watching snowflakes fall outside your window) or hate it (traveling down a snow-covered road trying to safely reach your destination), here are 10 things you may not know about snow:

1. Snow is not white. It typically appears white because visible light is white. Frozen water particles are translucent, but the sunlight's reflection gives snow its white appearance. 

2. Snowflakes always have six sides. The hydrogen and oxygen molecules that snowflakes are made of can only fit together in a way that results in a six-sided ice crystal. 

3. It's a myth that no two snowflakes are exactly the same. In 1988, Nancy Knight, a scientist at the National Center for Atmosphere Research in Colorado, found two identical snowflakes that came from a storm out of Wisconsin.

4. Snow warms you up. Since fresh, compacted snow is approximately 90 to 95 percent trapped air, it's a great insulator. This is the reason why many animals burrow deep into the snow during winter in order to hibernate. It's also the reason that igloos, that use only body heat to warm them, can be 100 degrees warmer inside than outside.

5. Snow is classified as a mineral. Frozen water, or ice, is a naturally occurring solid, so snow is categorized as a mineral.

6. Snow affects sound. Freshly fallen snow absorbs sound waves, giving everything a seemingly hushed, quieter ambiance after a flurry. But if the snow then melts and refreezes, the ice can reflect sound waves making sound travel further and clearer.

7. Snow is adaptable. Usually, the air temperature needs to be around the freezing mark for snow to form, but if rain falls for long enough it can cool the air around it as it falls and eventually creates the right environment to produce flakes. So the temperature could be 42 degrees Fahrenheit on the ground and snow could still be falling.

8. Yodeling will not cause an avalanche. A sudden deluge of snow, an increase in wind speed or even the overzealous footstep of a skier can trigger a sudden cascade. A loud burst of yodeling cannot trigger does not have that much of an effect.

9. Snowflakes aren't the only form of snow. Snow can also precipitate as snow pellets or sleet. Snow pellets are opaque ice particles that form in the atmosphere as ice crystals fall through freezing cloud droplets — meaning cloud particles that are colder than the freezing point of water but remain liquid. The cloud droplets group together to form a soft, lumpy mass. Sleet, on the other hand, consists of drops of rain that freeze into small, translucent balls of ice as they fall from the sky.

10. The most snow ever recorded from a single storm in North America was 189 inches. The Mount Shasta Ski Bowl in Northern California received 189 inches of snow, or 15.75 feet of snow, from February 13 to the 19 in 1959. Let's see if Mother Nature will beat that record this year!

Do you know a fun fact about snow? Share it in the comments section below.

1 comment

  • Jo | Feb 25th 2019 @ 10:19 AM

    Fun fact --- the amount of snow outside today is like the snow I remember when I was a kid! Fond memories of sledding and snow fort making. #Winter

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