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Posted by on Jan 3, 2012 in From the Magazine, Tidbits | 0 comments

Snow F.A.Q

Snow F.A.Q

Winter north of Hwy 7 and the Ridges (usually) means lots of white stuff, those sometimes fluffy, sometimes sleety, sometimes blizzardy flakes of snow. We gathered some neat snow facts to celebrate, share and perhaps bemoan over a hot cup of hot chocolate:

  • In an average year, one septillion snowflakes fall in Canada. That is the number one, followed by 24 zeros
  • The biggest snowflake recorded in Canada fell in Halifax on Feb. 22, 1986. The six-sided crystal measured 5 cm in diameter. But it was dwarfed by snowflakes the size of small pizzas that fell near Fort Keogh, Montana, in 1887, according to the Guinness Book of World Records
  • Snow is white because visible sunlight is white. The crystals in a snowflake reflect white light off each other and what little light that is absorbed gives snow its white appearance
  • We have our very own snow sculpture team! See them at
  • Thought that blowing snow and drifting snow were the same thing? Nope. Blowing snow is lifted by the wind from the earth’s surface to a height of two metres or more. Drifting snow is blown to a height of less than two metres
  • Winter storms and excessive cold claim more than 100 lives every year in Canada, more than the combined toll from hurricanes, tornadoes, flood, extreme heat and lightning. Many of those who die are killed trying to get rid of the stuff – stricken by heart attacks while shovelling snow off their driveways
  • The word for snow blindness is niphablepsia
  • The largest snowball fight on record had 5,768 participants in Leuven, Belgium on October 14, 2009
  • The louder the crunch of snow, the colder the temperature. At -15C, snow underfoot squeaks; below -18C it makes a hollow sound
  • Icicles are more common on the south side of buildings because that exposure tends to receive more daytime sun. Snow is more likely to melt on the south side of a building. It then re-freezes during the night to form icicles
  • Care to know the difference between snow flurries, blizzards, snow squalls and more? Check out


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