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Question
Feb 9 2015
Feb 9 2015  
I tried to preserve a snowflake onto a microscope slide, but they were minuscule compared to some I photographed last year. That snowfall had varying sizes of snowflakes and hail. The biggest flakes were over ⅛" wide, but looked like a clump of crystals in snowflake shape.

I want to preserve a good-sized specimen. What weather conditions facilitate the formation of large snowflakes?

Answer
Hi Janet

Size of snow flakes depend upon temperature. Very small flakes are formed and falls in very cold temperatures. Regular flakes form in cold temperatures and reach ground with temperatures in the 30s in the lower thousand or so feet immediately above ground.

Clumping is caused when snow flakes stick together after falling from cold air and then through a warm layer and, being more moist, hit and stick to each other.

http://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-photograph-snowflakes-with-a-dslr/

http://www.snowcrystals.com/guide/guide.html

https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/snow/science/types.html

https://skycrystals.ca/snowflake-gallery/

http://www.popphoto.com/how-to/2008/12/how-to-photograph-snowflakes

http://petapixel.com/2013/03/19/shooting-high-resolution-macro-photos-of-snowfla

https://www.slrlounge.com/breathtaking-snowflake-photography-done/

http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/features/dons-guide-to-taking-photos-of-snowfla  

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