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Winter White

Winter’s finally made its arrival in the Chicago area. A beautiful, white blanket covers houses, roads, and trees, and more is expected this week. Interestingly, snowfall accumulation may be significant, but most of its volume consists of air.

We know not to eat yellow snow, however, we may not want to catch even fresh flakes on our tongues. Snowflakes can pick up specks of dust, algae, and other foreign products including pollutants along their descent.

Snowflakes require a cycle beginning with the evaporation of water from rivers, lakes, and oceans. When temperatures drop to 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below, the moisture forms into tiny ice crystals. As the crystals fall, they connect with other crystals forming snowflakes. The more crystals that join together, the bigger the flake.

According to The National Snow and Ice Data Center, snow and ice are translucent but usually appear white. Reflected light includes all colors, which, together, look white. Think how water looks clear but ice is often white.

Depending on how sunlight hits snow, it also can appear blue, purple, or even pink. This is the result of either how light waves hit the snow, or the foreign particles it contains.


Midwest Mary just got a new update. After 11 years, it definitely needed some remodeling. Take a look at the blog home page and tell me what you think.

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