Some Fun Snow Facts You May Not Know

Snow fun facts

Balanced Enviroments

May 12, 2021

  1. SNOWFLAKES ARE NOT THE ONLY FORM OF SNOW that can also precipitate as graupel or sleet. Not to be confused with hail, graupel (or snow pellets) are opaque ice particles that form in the atmosphere as ice crystals fall through freezing cloud droplets—meaning cloud particles that are colder than the freezing point of water but remain liquid. The cloud droplets group together to form a soft, lumpy mass. Sleet, on the other hand, consists of drops of rain that freeze into small, translucent balls of ice as they fall from the sky.
  2. SNOW IS NOT ACTUALLY WHITE. Snow, like the ice particles it’s made up of, is actually colorless. It’s translucent, which means that light does not pass through it easily (like it would transparent glass), but is rather reflected. It’s the light reflected off a snowflake’s faceted surface that creates its white appearance.But why white? The reason we see objects as colors is because some wavelengths of light are absorbed while others are reflected. The object takes on whatever color light is reflected. For example, the sky is blue because the blue wavelengths are reflected while the other colors are absorbed. Since snow is made up of so many tiny surfaces, the light that hits it is scattered in many directions and will actually bounce around from one surface to the next as it’s reflected. This means no wavelength is absorbed or reflected with any consistency, so the white light bounces back as the color white.
  3. THE AVERAGE SNOWFALL FOR A CHICAGO WINTER IN 35.0 INCHES Chicago averages 35 inches of snow per year. The US average is 28 inches of snow per year. Chicago gets 38 inches of rain, on average, per year; the US average is 38 inches of rain per year. On average, there are 189 sunny days per year in Chicago. The US average is 205 sunny days. Chicago gets some kind of precipitation, on average, 125 days per year. Precipitation is rain, snow, sleet or hail that falls to the ground. In order for precipitation to be counted you have to get at least .01 inches on the ground to measure.

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