Fun Science Facts: All About Snow

Sure, it’s fun to play in, to throw, and to make snow angels – and maybe not so fun to shovel – but, as hardy New Englanders, snow is part of our winter landscape. While you’re watching those flakes come down this year, here are some interesting facts to think about.

1. Snow is translucent, not white. Snow is made up of ice particles, which are colorless.

2. Each winter in the United States alone, at least 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 snowflakes fall from the sky.

3. Not every storm that produces snow is a blizzard. In order to be classified as a blizzard, winds must be at least 35 mph and visibility must be reduced by snowfall to less than .25 miles for at least three hours.

4. Other types of snowstorms include snow squalls and snow bursts.

5. Snowflakes always have six sides. The water molecules that form snowflakes can only fit together to form six-sided crystals.

6. In 1988, Nancy Knight, a scientist for the National Center for Atmospheric Research, observed two snowflakes that were exactly the same. The snowflakes came from a snowstorm in Wisconsin.

7. Snow is a mineral, according to the National Snow & Ice Data Center, because it’s a solid that is naturally occurring and inorganically formed.

Courtesy of the Maria Mitchell Museum, Nantucket

About Ann Luongo

Ann Luongo is the Marketing Writer and Lifestyle Reporter for, and has been writing for Cape Cod and South Shore publications for over 15 years.
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