Have you heard of the biggest snowflake ever?

Last year we were uncovering interesting Northern Light Facts. This year we have something new: snow. This is the first fact in our Snow Fact -series covering interesting facts about snow and winter.
This first fact will be about the biggest snowflake ever.

Individual snowflakes are quite small, as you may have noticed, but sometimes they stick together and create a much larger snowflake. It is common to have big snowflakes sized around 3-5 centimeters , but in January 28th 1887 there was nothing common in the size of snowflakes flying in the air in army base of Fort Keogh, Montana, US.

During the day the snowflakes had been exceptionally big, but this one was a true giant. The soldiers guarding Fort Keogh witnessed very bizarre sight when the most massive snowflake ever fell from the sky. The flake was sized 38 centimetres and was 20 centimetres thick, meaning the snowflake falling from the sky was size of a dinner plate. In Finland kids like to play and try to catch the flakes with their tongues, with a snowflake this size it would be quite a dangerous game.

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Snowflake seen trough microscope.

According to scientific theories, these giant snowflakes can in fact be formed easily. They are formed when a heavy, wet snow is falling with little wind. Under those conditions, flakes that have a slight surface sheen of water easily stick together and form larger flakes. So this giant flake of Fort Keogh was formed of many small snowflakes. Since biggest known snow crystal measured was only little over 1 centimeters from tip to tip, there must have been hundreds of them in this one massive flake. This snowflake was so exceptional that here in Europe no-flake can compete with it. Biggest known and measured snowflake was found in Berlin January 10th 1915 and was only around 10 centimeters wide.

If you don’t believe there could ever be a snowflake this size and you think this fact must be a lie, I can happily tell you that this fact is packed by the Guinness Book of World Records. Of course this record can be beaten anytime, every snowflake is a potential giant, if the weather is right.

This was the first fact in our new Snow Fact -series, we will keep posting a new fact every monday until the end of February. You can also find our old Northern Light Facts from our website here! Stay tuned and remember to follow our Facebook-page, so you will be notified when the next fact comes out!

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