What is snow?

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When it gets very cold in winter, it might snow. What is snow and where does it come from?

In this article you can find out:

  • Where snow comes from
  • Different types of snow
  • What a dendrite snowflake is
  • What slush is

This resource is suitable for Weather topics for P2, P3, P4, P5, P6 and P7 (Second Level Curriculum for Excellence).

Watch this video to learn about snow.

Where does snow come from?

  1. The air is full of .
  2. When it is very cold, some of this water freezes into ice crystals.
  3. More ice crystals grow around these.
  4. The crystals form snowflakes.
  5. If snowflakes fall through air that is cold and dry, the snow will be powdery.
  6. If they fall through air that is wet and warmer, the snow will be wet. Wet snow is what we usually get in Scotland.

Look at these snowflakes

This photo was taken using a .

Both snowflakes are very different and complicated but they both have six sides.

All snowflakes are unique but they always have six sides.

  • precipitation - Any water that falls from the sky. Precipitation can be rain, snow, hail or sleet.
  • snow - Precipitation when it has reached its freezing point and becomes a solid.
  • slush - A mixture of water and snow.
  • hexagon - A six-sided shape. All snowflakes are hexagonal.
  • dendrite snowflake - A complicated snowflake that looks like it has branches like a tree. They form when it is very cold and there is lots of moisture in the air.

Test your knowledge of snow with this short multiple choice quiz

Write a poem about a snowy day.

Now you know a lot about snow and where it comes from, try writing a poem about a cold winter's day.

Try to use:

  • Descriptive language
  • Similes and metaphors
  • Personification

If you need more help with poetry writing, here is a guide to help: How to write poetry.

Cold Weather Poems
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