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Snowflake Shape Predictability
Kirt's Cogitations™ #82

These original Kirt's Cogitations™ may be reproduced (no more than 5, please) provided proper credit is given to me, Kirt Blattenberger.

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   Cog·i·ta·tion [koj-i-tey'-shun] – noun: Concerted thought or reflection; meditation; contemplation.
   Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.

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Snowflake Shape Predictability

If you live or spend a lot of time where snow is commonplace, you have probably noticed that not all snow is the same. If you also suspected that temperature seemed to have some bearing on its texture, you were correct. Research has determined that snowflakes - crystals, actually - that form in temperatures between 27° F and 32° F, and between -13° F and 18° F are shaped like hexagonal plates. Those that form at and a little above 32° F are shaped like needles and columns. Familiar 6-armed snowflakes (technically called dendrites) form at temperatures between 3° F and 10° F. The formation temperature ranges are amazingly consistent, even in the presence of contaminants.

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