GRAND RAPIDS — Our snow chances are long gone by now but snowflakes are sometimes a mystery. What do they look like? How do they form? Snowflakes are actually pretty complex and really cool to learn about! So lets get started with this experiment!
What you need:
Step 1: Gather big and small marshmallows
Step 2: Begin assembling snowflakes by connecting marshmallows with toothpicks
Step 3: Make as many different snowflakes as you can!
What really is a snowflake though? They are formed when water vapor freezes to a particle or dust in the clouds. That tiny piece of ice keep gaining more and more water vapor freezing to it and eventually becoming heavy enough to fall to the surface.
Snowflakes are always 6 sided! This is due to the hexagonal lattice structure of ice. When water freezes the molecules connect together and form that hexagon. When more molecules are added it makes branches off each of the 6 sides.
But no two snowflakes are alike….this is because it can take up to 100,000 water vapor droplets to make each snowflake. Its highly unlike that every time a snowflake is formed those thousands of water vapor droplets arrange themselves exactly the same.
Snowflakes structures are made depending on temperature and moisture levels of the clouds. Snowflake shapes depend on humidity and temperature relate. We can see hexagon shaped plates, dendrites, needles and columns.
There you have it, we created snowflakes! Send our meteorologist Candace Monacelli your pictures doing this experiments at home! She will feature future meteorologists on my Facebook page daily!