Science, Nature and Tech

Winter Wonderings – Why Does Frost Make Patterns?

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Sam

Sam has worked as a forensic scientist as well as for the British government, and has degrees in both archaeology and osteoarchaeology. She has 2 children, is passionate about science, reading, history and music, and loves dyeing her hair bright colours!

Sam blogs about all kinds of science at www.samanthagouldson.com.
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The third #winterwonderings post from our Science Correspondent, Samantha, we take a look at why frost makes patterns. Many countries have a mythical figure like Jack Frost, who draws in the ice and frost in winter, but what really causes these gorgeous natural designs.

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Events

Will It Be a White Christmas 2014?

will it be a white christmas 2014

Lynn Schreiber

Founder and Editor at Jump! Mag
A freelance writer, who lives and works in Scotland with her family and fluffy white dog.

Likes: Writing, reading, twitter and chocolate
Dislikes: Negative and angry people

As we get closer and closer to the big day, the question on everyone’s lips is, ‘Will it be a White Christmas 2014?’. The answer to that depends on a number of factors, such as where you live and what we mean by a ‘White Christmas’.

 

What is a White Christmas?

 

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For most people in UK, a White Christmas is when we have a complete covering of snow on the ground on the morning of 25th December. For others, a single snowflake or flurry of snow is enough to declare it a ‘White Christmas’.

The Americans are more precise, calling a White Christmas when there is a snow depth of ‘one inch or more, on Christmas Morning’. I’m inclined to go with the American definition, but you can make up your own mind!

 

 

Where is a White Christmas Almost Guaranteed?

 

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In UK there is no place that we can guarantee a White Christmas. You might be more likely to see snow in the mountains, but some years even the high ground didn’t get snow! The mountain ranges of Europe are a better bet, especially the villages higher up.

 

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In USA there are wide swathes of the country that are pretty much guaranteed NOT to have a White Christmas. Kids who live in Texas or Florida are unlikely to open their windows to a wintery Christmas scene!

The northern states are used to large amounts of snow – you may have seen the pictures like this one in the news recently, when the Buffalo area was hit by freak winter storms. How would you like to shovel a path to this house?

 

 

When Will We Know?

Long range weather forecasts are not really reliable, and we won’t know until a few days before Xmas whether it will be a White Christmas. At the time of writing, it is looking like most of UK will be too mild for snow on 25th December, but we will be keeping an eye on the Met Office website in the next week. 

 

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Science, Nature and Tech

Winter Wonderings – Why Can You See Your Breath When it is Cold?

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Sam

Sam has worked as a forensic scientist as well as for the British government, and has degrees in both archaeology and osteoarchaeology. She has 2 children, is passionate about science, reading, history and music, and loves dyeing her hair bright colours!

Sam blogs about all kinds of science at www.samanthagouldson.com.
Follow Sam:

Latest posts by Sam (see all)

This is the first in a series of posts by Sam Gouldson called Winter Wonderings. Sam will take a closer look at some of the amazing things that winter brings, such as snowflakes, ice and snow and explain the science behind the season!

You may have noticed that you can see your breath when the weather is cold, especially if you exhale really hard. But what causes this and why doesn’t it happen when it’s warm?

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