Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Chilling Facts About Cold Weather

Okay, so hopefully you're snuggled up in a blanket and drinking a hot beverage, the warmth of which will help you appreciate the winter temperatures outside and how very "cool" cold can be:

1. If you pour a cup of water out of a window when it's -40 degrees Farenheit, the water will freeze before hit hits the ground. (Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA)

2. Snow forms in six basic shapes: columns, needles, plates, dendrites, columns with plates, and "irregular". (Source: Winter Snow Facts and Records,

3. Between 32°F and 25°F snowflakes form as thin, six-sides plates. Between 25°F and 21°F long needle shaped snowflakes are formed. When the temperature is 21°F to 14°F columnar snowflakes are formed. Between 14°F and 10°F snowflakes form as six-pointed stars. Finally, at temperatures of 10°F to 3°F dendrites are formed. The colder it is outside, the smaller the snowflakes that fall. (Source:

4. One inch of liquid rain is equivalent to ten inches of snow! (Source: NOAA)

5. You don't need clouds for snow; ice cyrstals can form and fall from clear skies when temperatures are less than 10 degrees Farenheit. (Source: NOAA)

6. All forms of frozen water on the Earth's land or sea surfaces and permafrost (perennially frozen ground) are grouped together and referred to as the Earth's "cryosphere". (Source: National Snow and Ice Data Center, NSIDC)

7. Approximately 10% of the surface of the Earth is covered by glaciers or ice sheets. (Source: NSIDC)

8. Antarctica is the largest single mass of ice on the planet; it comprises 70% of the Earth's fresh water. Buried beneath this ice sheet is Lake Vostok, a body of water that has been cut off from the rest of the planet since before humans walked the Earth. (Source: National Geographic Channel)

See? Cool, huh?

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