Snowflakes form when water vapour in the air freezes into ice crystals. Each snowflake has a unique hexagonal pattern, and their shapes depend on temperature and humidity.
Snowflakes can vary in size, ranging from tiny particles to large, intricate structures. Warmer temperatures typically lead to larger snowflakes.
Meteorologists use various instruments to measure snowfall. The unit commonly used is inches or centimetres, representing the depth of snow on a flat, open surface.
In certain regions, such as the Great Lakes area, lake-effect snow occurs when cold air passes over warmer lake waters, picking up moisture and depositing it as snow on the downwind shores.
Snowfall can be classified into different types, including light snow, heavy snow, flurries, and blizzards. Blizzards, characterized by strong winds and low visibility, are particularly intense snowfall events.
The water content of snow is crucial for understanding its impact on water supply. Snow water equivalent is the depth of water that would result if the entire snowpack melted.
Intense snowfall events are often referred to as snowstorms. These can disrupt transportation, close schools, and create winter weather advisories.
Snow that accumulates on the ground forms a snowpack. The snowpack's thickness and density can influence various aspects, including avalanche risk and spring runoff.
Baked potatoes topped with sour cream, cheese, chives, and bacon create a hearty and indulgent side dish.