Published on February 9th, 2018 | by Sarah Jubb
Cold Weather? Snow Problem
With the United Kingdom currently experiencing a cold snap that is seeing temperatures drop below minus degrees Celsius and the start of the Winter Olympics today in South Korea, we thought we’d take a look at some fun facts about snow to brighten your day.
According to the Met Office, the cold weather is expected to last through much of February and could even venture further into March. With lows of -6C seen on Monday 8th February, the temperature has stayed cold throughout the week and could even drop even lower.
With the arrival of the cold, people in the UK have also seen heavy snowfall in certain areas along with ice that could lead to travel disruptions across the country. While snow can be an annoyance and disturbance to drivers, there is plenty to enjoy about the cold white stuff that greets us at some point almost every winter.
We’ve put together some fun and fascinating facts about snow so take a close look!
Every Snowflake Is Probably Unique
Now the fact that every snowflake is unique may be one that many people have heard before, but it’s still as interesting as the first time. Individual snowflakes are incredibly delicate which in turn means that they have intricate appearances along with a near infinite variation. What give a snowflake its shape depends on the temperature and humidity. There is a chance that there will have been two snowflakes that look alike, but the possibility is so extremely unlikely that you could perhaps say that every snowflake is unique.
Snow Is Not White
When people think of snow, perhaps the first thing that may come to mind is a great expanse of white. But what is perhaps surprising to know is that snow is not actually white, it is in fact translucent. The ice crystals in a snowflake reflect over 90% of light that reaches it and there are no colours that are absorbed more than others, which makes snow appear white.
Naturally accumulating snow can also appear to be blue or pink as the deeper snow gets trapped, the bluer it will become. Alternatively, in high terrains algae can cause snow to become pink!
A Fear Of Snow
There’s likely to be a phobia for nearly everything and that is just as true for snow. The word for a fear of snow is ‘Chionophobia’, combining the Greek word for snow, chion, with the word for fear, phobos.
The good news for anyone suffering from this phobia is that on average, the UK does not have many snow days. According to the Met Office, there are only around 23.7 days of snow or sleet in a year, though there are places that get more than others. Scotland for example receives an average of 38.1 days.
Eskimos Do Not Have 100 Words
There is a myth that is often Eskimos, the indigenous population of the northern circumpolar region including Alaska, Canada and Greenland, have 100 words for snow. This is actually false according to linguist Geoffrey Pullum, who states that are there are simply two basic words for snow. These are ‘qanik’ (snow in the air) and ‘aput’ (snow on the ground).
Languages that do have a lot of words for snow however are much closer to home with the Sami language, spoken by the Sami people of northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia having at least 180 words.
But the winner for the most words for snow actually belongs to a language found right here in the British Isles! According to the University of Glasgow, Scots has 421 words for snow, which perhaps ties into our earlier fact on Scotland having the most snowfall in the United Kingdom.
Where Was The Deepest Snow In The UK?
When we do get snow here in the United Kingdom, we are perhaps used to receiving just a few inches on the ground. But in March 1947, Ruthin in North Wales saw a depth of 1.65 metres being recorded.
While that seems like quite a lot, it’s nothing compared to the snowfall seen during 1998-99 in the Mt. Baker Ski Area in Washington, United States. During this season, the area saw 29 metres of snow fall!
Be Prepared For The Cold Weather!
It’s important to make sure that you are fully prepared for any cold weather and here at the Post Office Shop we have plenty of useful items that will make your life easier with the freezing temperatures.
For the drivers out there, the De-Icer Trigger Spray is the perfect way to combat any frozen windscreens and windows in the frosty mornings. A handy Snow Shovel will make clearing paths or driveways of snow quick and easy, ensuring that frequently used walkways are safe to traverse.
The cold weather can not only affect outside, but also inside a building as well. With the temperatures dropping below freezing, it’s important to make sure that your rooms are well heated for extra comfort. Why not take a look at the range of Heaters available on the Post Office Shop to make sure you can always get the right toasty temperature?