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Backpacker Magazine – February 2000
Learn what the white stuff means.
In learning to read snow, it's important to distinguish a snow crystal from a snowflake, which technically speaking, is an assemblage of individual snow crystals that have collided and remained glued together during their fall through the atmosphere. Snowflakes can be microscopic flecks or as large as hamburger buns. The largest ever recorded was a 4-incher that landed on a Kansas cornfield in 1934. Generally, the wetter the air, the heavier the snowflake, since individual crystals tend to get glued together in flight.