The science behind snow!

Using the website Weather Whiz Kids we found a wide variety of facts about what a blizzard is and how snow and ice are created.

What are snowflakes?

Snowflakes are made of ice, each snowflake is made up of as many as 200 ice crystals. Some snow crystals are symmetrical. Snowflakes will form only if the temperature is below 0 Celsius. They make those shapes because that is how water molecule form when they freeze. Otherwise they are small and irregularly shaped. They rotate and they become heavier as they fall towards Earth.

What does a blizzard need?

1. For snow to fall to the ground the temperature must be cold (below zero) both in the cloud, where the snowflakes form and down at ground level.
2. Moisture is needed to form clouds and precipitation. Moisture in the air is called water vapor.
3. The moist air needs to rise over very cold air.

Other types of ice that can fall from the sky

There are other forms of ice that can fall from the sky.
They are Graupel, Ice Pellets and Hail.

1. Graupel: this is snowflakes encrusted with ice, this is when the flakes have passed through a chilly cloud on their way to the ground.
2. Ice Pellets: This is a fancy word for sleet, which is just frozen raindrops.
3. Hail: This is when a frozen raindrop or group of raindrops can’t get to the ground because of the upwards air flow in a thunderstorm.

Safety warnings attached to snow.

The safety warnings attached to snow are either, yellow, orange or red.

Yellow means, be aware and to tell people who might be at risk because of where they live to be aware. (eg close to the sea).

An Orange Warning is when the weather will impact significantly on people, for example losing electricity or driving very slowly because of the frost.

Red means that the weather is going to be very severe. It is very rare that they happen and it often means that people have to stay inside as it is too dangerous.

By Nathan Catana, Bradley Clifford, Ryan Cole and Nicole Zambra

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