Snow is a form of precipitation in the form of crystalline water ice, consisting of snowflakes that fall from clouds. Since snow is composed of small ice particles, it is a granular material. It has an open and therefore soft structure, unless packed by external pressure. Snowflakes come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Types which fall in the form of a ball due to melting and refreezing, rather than a flake, are known as hail, ice pellets or snow grains. Snowfall amount and its related liquid equivalent precipitation amount are determined using a variety of different rain gauges. more »
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