After another round of snow here in western Massachusetts you may be wondering how a snowflake is made.
For that we look at the Dendritic Growth Zone: An area in a cloud between 0-10 degrees farenheit.
This is the area where snow is made and the deeper this layer, the more saturated this layer and the more lift in this layer, the more snow you’re likely to see.
What happens is supercooled droplets in this layer freeze on pollen or dust particles forming an ice crystal. As that crystal falls down, water vapor freezes on that ice crystal creating the arms of a snowflake.
But why does a snowflake look the way it does?
The shape is determined by the temperature where the crystal forms in the dendritic growth zone and also the path a snowflake takes the the ground. Because all snowflakes take different paths to the ground, that’s why all snowflakes are unique.