Winters are the coldest months of the year in both temperate and polar zones. This season falls in between the spring and autumn seasons, and this season generally occurs when the hemisphere of the earth is oriented away from the sun. At the start of this coldest season, different cultures define the season with different dates, while others use a definition based upon the season’s weather.
Generally, when it is winter in the northern hemisphere of the earth, the southern hemisphere experiences summer and vice versa. In many places, this season brings freezing temperatures and snow. In winters, the days become shorter, and the nights become longer because, during the winter solstice, the sun’s elevation concerning the southern or northern pole becomes a negative value. But with the progress after this solstice, the day length increases with a decrease in the night.
Interesting facts about the winter season
Japan- the snowiest city in the whole world – the Aomori city located in the northern part of Japan is the highest snowfall receiver in the world as a whole. On average, each year, the citizens are pummeled up with about 312 inches or around 26 feet of snow in general.
Snowing takes place even at the places which are least expected to be – unlike Minnesota and Siberia, where it is common to see snow on the ground during the months of winter, the northern areas generally don’t have the monopoly of snowing. But even the driest places such as the Sahara desert itself are not immune to snowfall. The snowfall has been recorded even in the deserts of Sahara and Hawaii. In 2011, the Atacama Desert located in Chile was recorded to receive a snowfall of nearly 32 inches due to a rare cold front from Antarctica.
You will find snowflakes in all kinds of shapes and sizes – generally, an average snowflake has a size range between a penny to the width of a human hair strand. Still, according to specific, unverified resources, they can grow larger. In the year 1887, the witness of the snowfall of the Fort Keogh of Montana claimed to have witnessed a snow crystal, as large as the milk pan, falling from the sky.
With a small amount of water, an impressive amount of snow can be formed to produce a large amount of snow, and it is not necessary for the air to always be super moist. Generally, just with plain rainfall, a bank of fluffy snow has a lot of air, resulting in its bulkiness. Thus, just an inch of rain during the summer months can produce snow of about 10 inches in the winter months.
Per second, the snow falls at 1 to 6 feet – generally, the snowflakes having a general structure that can even act as a parachute falls at 1 to 6 feet per second. But the snow having a system like that of pellet-like graupel travels even faster to the earth.
The temperature drop takes place within a fraction of time – during the colder months, it doesn’t take much longer for the temperature to drop. Just a wicked cold front can make the temperature go down immediately.
During the winter months, the earth becomes closer to the sun – the start of the winter months in the northern hemisphere of the planet earth starts from January. During this period, the world reaches near the point of orbit closer to the sun.
The usage of salt on the roads of the U.S – during the months of winter, each year, more than 22 million tons of salts are used in the streets of the United States of America, which rounds up to about 137 pounds of salt per person on an average.
The wind chill calculation takes place using a precise formula – the wind chills are generally calculated using a very complicated equation. Meteorologists originally devise this equation. The precise formula used: 35.74 + 0.6215T – 35.75 (V^0.16) + 0.4275T (V^0.16).
The cities are forced to dispose of their snow very creatively. Generally, when the snow gets piled up too high and becomes challenging to manage for the cities, it is usually hauled away into the parking lots or any wider area for the snow to melt until the weather warms up a little. Sometimes during the snowy season, the cities dump their snows into the ocean, only to be met with criticisms from various environmental activists.
According to science, wet snows are the best for snowman building games – for the snowman building games, the moist or the sticky side of the snow acts as the best building blocks. Various scientists approve this snow to water formula in a ratio of about 5:1.
The difference between sleet and freezing rain – during driving conditions, both freezing and sleet can have adverse and scary effects, but both have different formations. Both of them are a type of precipitation. They generally occur when the rain formed by the warm air present in the sky passes through an icy layer of air near the ground level. The thicker layers of the air passing ground-level form the sleet, and the thinner layers, which don’t give enough rain time to freeze till it hits the ground surface, form the freezing rain.
The snowflakes are not always unique – generally, the snowflakes are formed with unique patterns. Still, there have been instances of the formation of identical snowflakes, which are recorded in the books.
The country with the winter December – Australia falls in the southern hemisphere of the planet earth. This means that the government will have its winter from June to July, while from December to January, it will have its summer season at its peak.
The roots of winter – the word winter originated from the Germanic winter. This Germanic winter, in turn, has its root meaning from the word “wed,” which means water or wet. In Anglo- Saxon culture, the years of a person are generally counted with the winter months. The first-day of the winter month also has its symbolic importance, named Vetraradag, and falls comparatively between 10 to 16 of October each year.
The reindeer vision – the reindeer- living above the Arctic Circle can survive the winter months with complete darkness for several weeks at a stretch. The reindeer’s eyes can detect ultraviolet light. They have a small area of tissue just behind the retina called tapetum lucidum, which changes the color from gold during the summers to blue in the winter months.
The total percentage of water present in the snow – depending on how the snow was formed, the exact amount of water in the snow can vary significantly. In general, with every 12cm of snow, you would get about 1cm of water.
The most important thing about the winter months – the winter months are great for the world around us. Many plants require low temperatures with shorter days to become dormant. During their inactive phase, they save up their energy for new growth. Thus if a fruit tree doesn’t get enough chilling time, it will produce significantly fewer weaker buds.
The latest sunrise and the earliest sunset have dates beyond the Polar Regions, which generally differ from the dates of this solstice and mainly depend upon the latitude. This variation arises due to the difference in the solar day throughout the whole year caused due to the elliptical orbit of the planet earth.
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