Difference between Snow and Ice

Jul 26, 2011 by

What is the Difference between Snow and Ice?

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  1. khristine

    When we think of it, snow and ice both comes from water. Both are known as water’s solid state. However, it is also noticeable that snow and ice are different in terms of appearance, composition, and the process by which they are formed.

    On one hand, snow is primarily composed of crystals with standard shapes. Ice, on the other hand, often appears as a solid chunk of water or sheets on top of frozen lakes or ponds. The main difference between snow and ice can be found in the manner on how water actually cools down and starts to solidify.

    Snows are actually small “supercooled” droplets of cloud that freezes when temperature at the atmosphere is too low. They form minuscule crystals that fall down to earth especially during winter season. Snows come in a variety of shapes that are basically determined by the level of temperature where the freezing of the cloud droplets takes place. When the temperature is close to freezing point (25° to 32°), snows appear to be thin and hexagonal in shape. When in slightly colder temperatures (21° to 25°), snows looked more like a needle. Further down, a variety of snow formations are created like the ones with hollow columns (14° to 21°), indented with hexagonal plate (10° to 14°), and to much more lower temperature, it will result to shapes of snows that are closely similar to what children normally draws.

    Snow, in actuality, is an ice in a form of crystals that falls. The fluffiness of the snow also depends on the kind of crystal it took form. When there is an updraft, small pieces of snowflakes are then pushed back up into the clouds where it meets with more layers of ice and combine with them. As this process continues to happen, lumps of ice are starting to build up which then falls down on earth as hail stones, or irregular chunks of ice that comes from the sky. In the ground, ice are formed from snow when it reaches the ground and partially melts then quickly freezes back.

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