ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – Since living in Rochester pretty much guarantees that you’ll eventually run into snow during the winter, why not get a little more familiar with the flakes that fall from the sky? In this piece I explain the process of how snowflakes form, plus, I’ve got a fun way that you can grow your own crystal snowflake at home for families looking to get a little crafty this winter. Full instructions in the video above.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Pipe cleaners (Cut into three 6″ pieces and six 2″ pieces)
  • Pliers
  • Wire Cutters
  • 28-Guage wire
  • Large, clear container
  • Hot water
  • Borax
  • Wooden spoon
  • Spray adhesive/sealant (Optional)
  • Glitter (Optional)

HOW DO SNOWFLAKES FORM?

Snowflakes form in a slow and complex process within a cloud when temperatures are below freezing thousands of feet up in the atmosphere. It all starts when warm, moist air cools and condenses onto a dust particle often found inside the cloud. This condensed, supercooled water then freezes into an ice crystal, and as it falls to the ground more water vapor freezes onto the primary crystal, building, growing and eventually falling as snowflakes depending on the current conditions. 

Since each snowflake follows a different, random path as they form and fall to the ground, every snowflake comes out unique. However, since the molecular shape of frozen ice is a six-sided shape, every snowflake will take on that same symmetry, and therefore it stems out into 6 points every time.

Want to share your snowflakes crafts with me? Tag me on Twitter or Facebook @WxChristineG.