5 Things You Didn't Know About Snow
Though water and snow are made from the same molecules, they have very different properties. In fact, snow is very special and can do all sorts of fantastic things. To give you an idea of the unique things snow is capable of, and to give you a few facts to impress your friends with next time the heavens open, here are 5 things you didn’t know about snow.
1. Snow is mostly air
Did you know that 90%-95% of freshly fallen snow is actually air? So when you look out over your bright white garden, you’re actually looking at air with a little bit of frozen water mixed in. As well as giving snow extra volume, this also makes it an excellent thermal insulator, so if you have a layer of snow on your roof, your tent or your igloo, it will help to keep the air inside that little bit warmer.
2. It doesn’t have to be freezing to snow
Though we all associate snow with freezing weather, technically, it doesn’t actually have to be that cold to snow. In fact, according to scientists, it can theoretically snow in temperatures up to 7˚C, this has resulted in snow appearing in traditionally hot places like Miami, Hawaii and San Diego. For it to snow in these balmy temperatures, the air has to have very low humidity as the evaporation that causes snow is most efficient in dry conditions.
3. Snow isn’t white
Snow is actually translucent. It reflects around 90% of the light that hits its surface, with no colours being absorbed more easily than others. It’s this that gives snow its white appearance.
4. Snow is a mineral
As snow is a naturally occurring solid that’s inorganically formed and has a definite chemical composition, it’s technically a mineral, just like diamonds and salt.
5. Japan is the snowiest place on earth
The snowiest place on earth is Aomori City in Aomori Prefecture, Japan. The city sees an average of 26 feet of snow per year, with snowdrifts rising high above cars and buses.
Though we don’t really drink snow, the fresh water that it provides does contribute to the water cycle and there’s a good chance that some of the water in your bottle fell to the earth as snow. So next time you take a gulp of H2O, take a moment to think about the incredible properties of the liquid you’re drinking. For more facts about water and hydration, explore our site today.