Different Types of Snowflakes

You’re playing in the snow twirling around while watching the flakes fall as you catch them on your tongue. Building snowmen and making snow angels is a lot of fun in the winter but have you ever stopped to wonder just how many different kinds of snowflakes there are? It has been said that two snowflakes are never the same. Is that true? Are there no identical ones? According to leading experts it is. One expert says that there are at least 35 different types of snowflakes. Of course, there is no time to go into all of the different types and talk about them now. Therefore, here are the most common ones. These are readily noticeable when falling if you look closely enough.

Simple prisms are the most basic of snow crystals. According to how fast they form and grow crystal prisms can appear to have a hexagonal shape looking a lot like wooden pencils. These snowflakes are usually too small to be seen by the human eye.

 Stellar plates, which have six broad arms and are thin and shaped like stars. These are gorgeous to look at and have almost perfect shapes. They usually form when the temperature drops to around 15 degrees.

Stellar Dendrites measure 5mm and are plate like with tree like branches and then side branches sprouting out from those. These snowflakes are mostly commonly used when making ornaments for Christmas decorations.

Snowflakes that are slender and shaped like columns are called needles and grow at 23 degrees. When they land on your clothes, they look like little white hairs.

Sometimes frozen water called rime forms on snowflakes giving them the appearance of tiny snowballs. These snowflakes are called Rimed crystals for that reason.

Capped columns are crystals that form and grow into stubby columns then later evolve into a more plate like structure. They end up looking like two crystals that have formed on the end of an ice column. Capped columns are not found in every snowfall but if your look for them they can be found in many.

The last of our snowflakes are fern like stellar dendrites. These have many branches and are shaped like a fern. These snowflakes are huge and so pretty when you look out your window and see them.  

There are many more types of snowflakes out there and regardless of what your favorite is or if you even have one, it is a safe bet that you will be examining them a little more closely this winter.