For years, scientists have been trying to solve the mystery of the triangular crystals that can sometimes form instead of the six-sided snowflake. In 2009, one scientist solved the mystery. It seems that when the six sides are not symmetric when they begin forming, the snowflake wobbles as it falls through the air. The sides that hit the fast air first will grow larger, thus forming a triangle. Some snowflakes look like sewing needles, while others look like spools of thread or hourglasses. The shape is determined not only by temperature, but by how they form and how they fall. Asymmetrical snowflakes are actually much more common than the perfect six-sided forms. Most snowflakes travel from cloud to ground in about one hour, but there are times when snow can fall much more quickly. In fact, snow can fall at 9 mph (14 kph), depending on the environmental

Snowflakes typically have six sides and form in a dendritic structure.


The New Weather: Amazing Weather Facts

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