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The types of precipitation include dew, frost, rain and snow; convection in a cloud can cause raindrops to grow.

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No Two Are Alike

No Two Are Alike

Credit: yellowcloud
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/63794141@N00/3197617582
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Everyone’s heard that no two snowflakes are alike. Although it’s hard to know if that’s really true, there are many different types.

Amazing But True!

  • Snowflake shapes can be documented using a camera attached to a microscope.
  • There are 35 basic types of snowflakes, including stellar, dendrites, columns, plates, needles, etc.
  • A snow crystal is a single crystal of ice.
  • A snowflake is one or more snow crystals stuck together.
  • Credit: Wilson Bentley
    Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SnowflakesWilsonBentley.jpg
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    Photographs of different types of snow flakes [Figure2]


Explore More

With the links below, learn more about snowflakes. Then answer the following questions.

  1. Why do some locations grow more beautiful snowflakes?
  2. How does a snowflake form?
  3. Why is it that no two snow crystals are exactly alike?
  4. Why do many snow crystals have a six-sided shape?
  5. What temperature conditions tend to form plates? What humidity conditions?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: yellowcloud; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/63794141@N00/3197617582; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Wilson Bentley; Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SnowflakesWilsonBentley.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0


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