Snow Science

Explore these extras with the snow science at the end of I LIKE THE SNOW.

Snowflakes are clusters of tiny ice crystals.

Ice crystals form high in the sky when the air is so cold that water vapor freezes. If the air is very cold, the crystals may freeze in beautiful shapes that look like stars, flowers, or fancy jewels. You can catch snowflakes on a piece of cold black paper or a colorful mitten to examine the ice crystals. Looking through a magnifying glass will show you even more.

Skiers often wear sunglasses or ski goggles because sunlight on snow is so incredibly bright and light. All the tiny, icy angles of the ice crystals act like trillions of little mirrors reflecting sunlight.

A thick blanket of snow protects tree roots and hibernating animals throughout the cold winter. Though the air temperature may fall below zero, under the snow, the ground temperature will remain much milder.