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Let It Snow!

Have you ever looked closely at a snowflake? Snowflakes are actually pretty neat. Snowflakes are not frozen raindrops. Instead they grow from water vapor that comes from evaporating cloud droplets. When the weather gets cold, the droplets inside a cloud start to freeze. As soon as a single droplet turns to ice, it begins growing into a snowflake. 

The average snowflake measures around a half an inch. Large snowflakes range from three to four inches in length. You need a magnifying glass to see the snowflake’s beautiful shape!

In 1880 a man named Wilson A. Bentley decided he had to know more about snowflakes. Bentley purchased a microscope and went outside when it snowed to view a close-up of a snowflake. Bentley studied snowflakes for the next forty years and was nicknamed Snowflake Bentley. He took over 5000 photographs of snowflakes and developed a system for categorizing over 80 different types of flakes.

Did you know?

  • All snowflakes have six sides
  • No two snowflakes are alike
  • It takes 100,000 tiny cloud droplets to make a single snowflake.
  • The largest snowflake ever recorded was 15 inches in diameter!
  • The average snowflake falls at a speed of 3.1 miles per hour


Snowy Reads

Snowflake Bentley
Martin, Jacqueline Briggs
A biography of a self-taught scientist who photographed thousands of individual snowflakes in order to study their unique formations.
Shulevitz, Uri
As snowflakes slowly come down, one by one, people in the city ignore them, and only a boy and his dog think that the snowfall will amount to anything.
Millions of Snowflakes
Siddals, Mary McKenna
As snow begins to fall, a child counts the flakes, enjoying every one.
Bauer, Marion Dane
Simple text and illustrations explore the wonders of snow.
Rustad, Martha E. H.
The Secret Life of A Snowflake
Libbrecht, Kenneth George
Describes how snowflakes form, the different types of snowflakes, and how and why they develop their unique shapes.
Rain & Snow
Students will learn how rain, snow, sleet, hail, fog and mist form as well as how the water cycle constantly 'recycles' water around the world.
All about Rain, Snow, Sleet & Hail
Looks at the many forms of precipitation, the forces that cause them and how water in one form changes to another. Demonstrations show that air has weight and warm air rises, and a visit with a meteorologist illustrates how the measurement and observation of rainfall helps in determining the forecast.
Weather for Children
All About Climate & Seasons: Winter, spring, summer and fall. We know what happens in our own backyards at these times during the year, but it isn't the same everywhere in the world. Why do the seasons change? And what causes different regions in the world to have different climates?
Seasonal Songs in Motion
Learning Station (Musical group)


Tickle Your Brain