An Overview on the Types of Snowflakes

Snowflakes come in many different formations and also vary in size too.  Looking at the flakes as they fall you can’t tell that they all have their own unique shape.  Some are standard types, while others are more elaborate and out of the ordinary.  Studying the different types of snowflakes is interesting, you can even do this yourself with the help of a magnifying glass.  Common names have been associated with the various types of snowflakes.  It is said that no two snowflakes are alike, this is due to the many molucules the various types are made up of.  There are many different types of snowflakes the following are just some of the varieties.

– Hollow Columns –

These hexagonal shaped columns are hollow at each end.  At times the ends grow over creating bubbles at either side inside the column.  The crystals are small, therefore, a good magnifying glass is required to see them.

– Simple Prisms –

Snowflakes like these appear as hexagonal plates, slender columns, and come in various sizes.  The columns can be as thin as a needle or as thick as a pencil depending on how fast they grow.

– Stellar Dendtrites –

This type of snowflake has a star-like appearance, with branches and side branches coming from it.  These are large enough to be seen by the human eye. 

– Bullet Rosettes –

These snowflakes are just as the name suggests, they are shaped like bullets.  Normally, they consist of three or four bullet shapes, which are qattached together at the points.

– Double Plates –

Probably one of the more common flakes, these are made up of a column shape in the center, which is capped off.  The column is surrounded by one large plate, the cap at the top takes on the form of another plate.  Hence the name, double plate, as it has what appears to be two plates surrounding the column.

– Triangular Crystals –

These are a rare type of snowflake that look like a plate, the difference being, they are triangular.  They are described as a being a three folded symmetrical shape.

In order for complex snowflake configurations to be formed the temperature has to be correct.  In below zero conditions it is much more difficult for complicated forms of snowflakes to be produced, as the moisture content is low.  A temperature of 5 degrees F is thought to be ideal for creating the most spectacular of snowflakes.  It is interesting to know that there are so many forms of snowflakes, never again will we look at falling snow without a hint of curiosity.