How snowflakes form

9th February, 2015

So how are you all coping with the snow? Here in East Anglia we have been fortunate to dodge the worst of it, but we know that other parts of the UK have seen considerable snowfall. Many of you will have been delighted to see some of the white stuff, but for others it can be a big inconvenience. Every year the country seems to come to a stand-still at the first sign of a snowflake; but if you put that to one side snow can be an incredibly beautiful thing.

In our opinion, what makes snow so special is that every snowflake is unique. They are formed when moisture in the air freezes to create tiny ice crystals. These crystals collide with one another, gradually getting heavier and heavier until such a point that their weight sees them fall to the ground as snow.

What is the difference between ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ snow?

Each snowflake can be a different size depending on how many ice crystals group together and this is influenced by air temperatures. When snowflakes fall through dry, cool air they form small powdery snowflakes that do not stick together. This ‘dry’ snow is perfect for snow sports, but not much use if you want to get out in the garden and build a snowman.

When temperatures rise above 0°C snowflakes will melt around the edges as they fall. As a result they are more likely to stick together and this is when we see bigger, heavier flakes. This creates ‘wet’ snow - perfect for any kid (or big kid!) that enjoys getting out in the garden.

This video from the Met Office explains in more detail.

About Our Service

Whilst we may have seen relatively little snow so far here in the east, many of our clients up and down the country have. It is our job to ensure that their businesses stay free from the threat of snow and ice, allowing them to continue to operate as usual. To do this we provide the following services:

  • 24/7 Forecasting: Whilst one of our clients may be free from risk of snow, another client just a few miles away may require our services. Using the latest, location specific weather data from the Met Office and Weatherquest we are able to identify hourly changes in weather conditions to meet their individual needs.
  • Snow Clearing: The safety of our clients' staff and visitors is one of the biggest priorities. Snow and ice can lead to car parks and footpaths becoming a slip hazard, but they know that when snow is forecast we are ready to act.
  • Gritting: We know that no two sites are ever the same and it is important to understand the local environmental variations. As a result we develop a bespoke gritting plan for each client to ensure their site is protected.

If you would like to find out more about how our service could protect your business this winter, do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation and quotation.

Single snowflake

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