Last week brought the first snowfall in the 3 Valleys, and we were treated to some gloriously sunny days to enjoy the beautiful white landscapes. With another whopping 40cm of snow due in the next 48 hours things are shaping up for a great start to the season.
Unlike the last few years, a good early season base is building up, meaning there should be great skiing come the 9 December when the lifts open in Meribel. Come and join us for a ski from the 16 December onwards........book here!
In the meantime, whilst taking a break from doing a snow dance, here are 5 interesting facts about the wonderful white stuff........
1. It is a myth that no two snowflakes are the same.
In 1988, a scientist at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) found two identical snow crystals. They came from a storm in Wisconsin.
2. Snow is not white, it is actually translucent.
Snow, like the ice particles it is made up of is in fact colourless. The ice is not transparent like a sheet of glass is, but rather is translucent meaning light only passes through indirectly.The many faceted sides of the ice crystals cause diffuse reflection of the whole light spectrum which results in snowflakes appearing to be white in colour.
3. And, in fact, snow sometimes appears blue.
Deep snow can often appear blue. This is because layers of snow can create a filter for the light, causing more red light to be absorbed than blue light. The result is that deeper snow appears blue...brrrrr
4. Not every big snowstorm is a blizzard.
In order to be classified as a blizzard, a snowstorm must meet a very specific set of qualifications. Winds must blow at least 35 miles per hour and the snowfall must reduce visibility to less than 0.25 miles for a period of at least three hours. There is no such specific qualifications for it to be "dumping"!
5. The World’s largest snowflake
The World's largest snowflake was reported to be 15 inches across and 8 inches thick. The Guinness Book of World Records states that this giant snowflake was found at Fort Keogh, Montana on January 28, 1887.