Do you remember the year the United States Postal Service offered stamps with photos of lovely snowflakes? Those were by far my favorite holiday stamps to date, and one of the things I liked best was that USPS included some information about the images. For example, the stamps show three stellar dendrites and a sectored plate, each having its own unique characteristics, like every single snowflake out there. Nature. Is. Cool. You can view the original images, and learn more about the uniqueness of snowflakes and how to identify snowflake types, at this site by Cal Tech’s Kenneth Libbrecht, who photographed the snowflakes.
With the Northern Hemisphere winter solstice occurring in less than a week, I thought it would be a good time to pass along some experiments to let you have fun with snow. Check out this article by NCAR scientist Peggy LeMone and this one also. Ideas for a science fair project, perhaps?
And if you’re in the U.S. and want to report your snow (and other precipitation) measurements, check out the Community Collaborative Rain, Snow, and Hail Network (CoCoRAHS) —it’s a great citizen science opportunity.