Are No Two Snowflakes Exactly Alike?

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By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - Much like dropping a blot of ink on a piece of paper several times will never create the exact same splatter, no two snowflakes are exactly identical. But there are six different *types* of snowflakes. "Stars" and "Dendrites" are like the traditional snowflakes you see with the six pointy edges. But there's also needles, columns, plates, and columns capped with plates.

The type of snowflake that falls on your head depends on the temperature and humidity when the cloud formed, but most snow around the main Puget Sound area is from the typical "stars." Also, snow around 32 degrees tends to be larger flakes that snow that forms at much colder temperatures. Check the AskSteve Web site to see links to pages that show the different forms of snow crystals.

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