What Are Snowflakes?

Have you ever wondered what snowflakes actually are? You probably already know that each and every snowflake is unique, and at the same time every single one has 6 points. And that is probably the extent of your knowledge. Well let’s see if we can add to that a few additional interesting facts.

The beginning of a snowflake’s life comes when a tiny piece of dust or dirt is swept up into the atmosphere by the blowing wind. The snow crystal begins to form as ice collects around the dust or tiny piece of dirt. When snow crystals stick together, they become actual snowflakes.

Snowflakes come in four basic shapes: an elongated needle; a long and hollow six-sided prism; a thin and flat plate with six sides; and a complex star with six points.
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The temperature of the atmosphere when the snowflakes are forming is what determines the ultimate shape. As the flakes continue to grow in the atmosphere they get heavier until they fall from the sky, eventually joining us here on earth for us to enjoy their delightful shapes and the way they transform the world from its ordinary appearance to a magical winter wonderland.


Rachel Forsythe has a B.A. in English Literature and worked as an editor for a local weekly news magazine. She is now a stay-at-home mom, raising three younger boys and two older daughters. Her favorite activities are hiking, reading, traveling, bike riding, skiing in the winter and surfing in the summer. She also loves to cook. Be in touch with Rachel at Rachel[at]sunstoneonline.com

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