Snow Forms Wednesday, Jan 5 2022 

Winter definitely is here in the Chicago area. As I look out my window, teeny, tiny flakes of snow are falling, or rather briskly blowing. With a temperature of 18 degrees Fahrenheit and a wind chill factor of 3, that puny snowfall doesn’t call us out to play.

The chemical formula for snow is H2O. Snow is simply made up of one or more crystals of frozen water.

Snowflakes require a cycle of nature 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.

Snow may fall in various forms. The English language tends to describe snow with multiple words such as dry and powdery, wet and slushy, or round and icy. The Inuit people of the northern regions of Canada are said to have countless words for snow, perhaps as many as 50. However, this number is likely an exaggeration.

In the past few years, I’ve heard the term, “graupel” often used. Graupel is precipitation that forms when supercooled water droplets are collected and freeze on falling snowflakes and form into balls of crisp, opaque rime. “Graupel” differs from “sleet” in that graupel never re-freezes as sleet does. Sleet is ice pellets resulting from the re-freezing of liquid raindrops or partial melting of a snowflake.

Here are a few other interesting facts about snow.

  • Snowflakes usually have six sides.
  • Identical snowflakes are rare but possible.
  • Most of the volume of a snow layer consists of air.
  • Nearly every location in the United States has seen snowfall.
  • We know not to eat yellow snow, but it may not be a good idea to catch even fresh flakes on your tongue. Snowflakes can pick up specks of dust and other pollution along its descent.
  • Snow and ice usually appear white, because visible light is white.
  • Snow that looks blue is due to light waves scattered by the ice grains in the snow.
  • When falling crystals gather foreign substances such as algae and dust, the crystals pick up the color of the substance.

*Caring for a loved one with dementia? My books, Navigating Alzheimer’s, The Alzheimer’s Spouse, and Inspired Caregiving may be helpful. The books were written from a personal perspective and include credible research. I do understand the challenges you face.

Socks, Please Santa Thursday, Dec 15 2016 

 

dscn4485

The snow glitters in the blowing wind. Trees and decks and shrubs and ground are dusted in sparkling white snow. So pure, clean—and deceivingly inviting. The temperatures are frigid today, and so are we the moment we step outside.

It looks like we will have a cold winter this year in the U.S. Midwest and North, so we might think about adding socks to our list for Santa and purchasing a pair or two for someone in a homeless shelter. We’ll all endure the winter so much better if we do.

dscn4568

Women’s fashions aren’t always thoughtful of what we ladies must endure. Live through a number of seasons and we encounter countless summers and winters when we are dressed for looks but not comfort. I know I’ve had too many summers when I was dressed too warm and too many winters when I could have had a few more yards of fabric on me!

A positive trend this winter season are knee and above socks. They’ve been out of fashion, and difficult to find, for many years. We have them back in full swing right now.

Neutral to an array of fun designs are available. We also have leg warmers again. I tried a pair yesterday, and I was amazed at how much warmer I was without the cold air penetrating my jeans. They were only $7 at Marshall’s, but the cute socks are more in the $15-$20 range.

(Why not check out my website or author Facebook page?)

 

%d bloggers like this: