How Do Snowflakes Form?

We haven't had much snow for the first part of the winter, but in case you're wondering how snowflakes are formed, here you go.

A snowflake is formed when a water droplet freezes onto some particle in the atmosphere. That particle can be anything from pollen to dust in the clouds. From this an ice crystal is created. As the ice crystal falls to the ground, more water vapor freezes onto the primary crystal and the snowflake will grow in size. This is how the six arms of the snowflake are formed.

It's often said that no two snowflakes are the same. This is because each snowflake follows a slightly different path on it's journey through the atmosphere and finally to the ground. Along that path a number of different factors will come into play. Temperature is the biggest factor in that formation, although humidity also has an effect on the final look of the snowflake.

For example, when a snowflake forms at temperature in the middle 20s(Fahrenheit), the crystal will look long and needle-like. However, flakes that form at a temperature in the single digits(F) will tend to appear flat and plate-like.


The comment sections of our web set are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from the viewers but we are not obligated to post comments we feel inappropriate or violate our guidelines. Here are some of the criteria you should follow when posting comments:

Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. Children and families visit this site. We will delete comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.

We will delete all comments using hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our web site.

Comments should not attack other readers personally.

We will delete comments we deem offensive, in bad taste, or out of bounds. We are not obligated to post comments that are rude or insensitive.

We do not edit user-submitted comments.

As a host WEAU 13 News welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However, we have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason WEAU 13 News reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.
powered by Disqus
WEAU 13 NEWS 1907 S. Hastings Way Eau Claire, WI 54701 By Phone: Main Number (715) 835-1313 and (715) 832-3474. Tip Line (715) 839-WEAU - (715) 839-9328 Sports Line (715) 852-1537
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 136289763 - weau.com/a?a=136289763
Gray Television, Inc.