How well do you know snow?
Score: 0 12
Question: 0 of 12
Question: 0 of 12
Score: 0 12
Powder is the finely granular snow that's a favorite of many snowboarders. Champagne powder is the fluffiest kind, which is most common in the U.S. Rocky Mountains.
- Loose tea
Graupel forms when upper-atmosphere fog freezes around a snowflake, forming ball-shaped precipitation, sometimes called snow pellets or soft hail.
A ground blizzard occurs when blizzard-like conditions form (high winds and blowing snow, even whiteouts) but no new snow falls.
- Snow that becomes ice when it touches the ground
- A blizzard that has little or no wind
- Already-fallen snow that gets blown around by strong winds
- A short-lived, but intense snowstorm
Penitents typically form in more arid areas, like the Dry Andes of Argentina (shown here) or the mountains surrounding Death Valley in California.
A cornice usually forms on the edge of a ridge or cliff face and can overhang the slope or flatlands below it, which can be unsafe for skiers.
- A perfectly rounded snow formation
- A flat-topped bank of snow
- An overhang of ice and wind-borne snow
- A tree top that peeks through deep snow cover
Megadunes, which are created by centuries of continuous winds shaping the snow, are found over a California-sized area in Antarctica. They are so large, they can only be seen using satellite imagery.
- North America
Sun cups, which can be the size of dinner plates or the size of a small car, are caused by intense sunshine on snowcover.
- Sun cups
- Tea cups
- Cat paws
- Sunken rounds
Triangular snowflakes are rare, since they require temperatures near minus 2 degrees Celsius (28.4 degrees Fahrenheit), but they are found in nature.
- Yes, but they are only found in the upper atmosphere
- No, they can only be grown in a lab
Sastrugi is a Russian word that describes the high-amplitude ridges seen here at the South Pole. Smaller, gentler versions of this same phenomena are called ripples.
Columnar snowflakes (this one is capped) are six-sided columns and are usually hollow in the center, making them lighter.
Slush is snow that has partially melted before it hits the ground, and then collects in watery puddles instead of forming snow cover.
- It freezes
- It picks up speed
- It partially melts
- It dissipates
A snowburst is a term coined by a SUNY Oswego professor in the 1960s to describe a snow event that is of short duration and heavy snowfall, with little wind, in which snow falls straight down.
- Snow carnival
- Snow day
OUR FAVORITE STORIES
MOST POPULAR ON MNN NOW
- Are you emotionally intelligent?
- How to see the shortest total lunar eclipse of the century
- 13 natural remedies for the ant invasion
- Bras don't actually work, says French study
- 13 photos of dogs that got invited to the wedding
- 11 things humans do that dogs hate
- 7 cultural concepts we don't have in the U.S.
- Too beautiful to be real? 16 surreal landscapes found on Earth
- 8 astonishing benefits of walking
- Kitten found with frozen paws will make full recovery