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Water and Ice

Grow Snow Crystals

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“Grow Snow Crystals" WebApp Courtesy of the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS), Copyright © 2013 by Tom Whittaker and Steve Ackerman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

How do different temperatures affect snowflakes?

Every snow crystal has a six-sided (hexagonal) shape, but they come in all different arrangements and sizes.

As a snowflake forms, it can move to different parts of the cloud. Differences in temperature and humidity affect the snowflake's shape.

Explore how snowflake crystals take shape depending on temperature:

  1. Click in one of the temperature zones (between the lines).

  2. Move your cursor to a different temperature zone and click some more.

  3. Combine up to three different shapes.

  4. Click multiple times to watch the crystal grow.

  5. Click below the cloud to start over.

Find out more about snowflakes and how they form.