How snowflakes are formed
December 19, 2008
Snow crystals form in clouds when water vapor condenses directly into ice.
Flakes aren’t frozen raindrops ” when raindrops freeze they form sleet or hail, without any of the patterns found in snow.
When a water droplet freezes in a cloud, it becomes a crystal and is surrounded by other liquid water droplets, forming a flake.
The most simple snow crystal is a hexagonal prism. Different temperatures dictate the shape of the prism, creating anything from a hexagonal plate to a long column.
Snow crystals can also form around other particles floating in the air, like clay, dust, silica, volcanic ash, or meteor fragments.
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