The irony of this particular post is not lost on me. Classifications of snow flakes and crystals while we are in the midst of a blizzard outside my window is just too much. Accumulative snow in Louisville, Kentucky is rare. Schools shut down with just the threat of a couple of inches, long before the white stuff actually begins to fall from the sky. Yesterday the weather service projected up to twelve inches for the bluegrass area, and the city has literally come to a screeching halt and the faceted crystals continue to fall.

As a child we are told that there are no two identical snowflakes. For reasons that elude even scientists, crystals take different shapes at different temperatures. Scientists do not know precisely how temperature and humidity affect growth.

Snow scientist Charles Knight at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado estimates that there are 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 water molecules in a typical snow crystal. “The way they can arrange themselves is almost infinite,” Gosnell said.”So, you know, nobody can say for absolute certain. But I think experts are in agreement the likelihood of two being identical is next to impossible.”

Melody K. Smith

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