One of my readers from Austria, Grete Blacha, wrote that she wanted to see the first snowfall. These are snowfalls that I definitely call my “first” snowfall.
Here are some photos of the sunset, the moon rise and sunset.
No Two Snowflakes Are Alike
It is unlikely that two complex snowflakes would look exactly alike. All snowflakes are unique, because each ice crystal has a unique path to the ground. They will float through different clouds of different temperatures and different levels of moisture, which means the ice crystal will grow in a unique way.
Temperature and humidity — moisture in the air — impacts the shape of ice crystals. At 23 degrees, ice crystals take longer, and they are more like needles or pillars. At 5 degrees, they are flatter, like plates.
Since snowflakes are made of water, their molecular structure is H2O (two hydrogen and one oxygen atom). The water molecules look like Vs, and the snowflakes are hexagons — which means they have six sides or arms. When they line up and freeze together, they will line up in a hexagon shape. As more water molecules are added, they continue to add to the hexagon in an even way. So, the hexagon doesn’t change its basic shape, it just grows bigger! (Dickinson County Conservation Board)