Daily Archives: December 26, 2011

How do snowflakes grow?

A snowflake can be an individual ice crystal or an aggregate of ice crystals. Ice crystals can grow by water vapor deposition on the crystal or by collisions with other cloud particles.

An ice crystal can grow if the air around it has a relative humidity near 100 percent. The ice particle grows by water vapor deposition. Growth by deposition is generally slow. If you find nicely shaped snowflakes, they likely were produced by vapor deposition. Continue reading

Category: Phenomena
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