The subject of weather brings about many phenomenons. Snow is a phenomenon that is a natural atmospheric process. Within this atmospheric process there are many essential elements leading to the production of snow.
In order for snow to occur the temperature needs to be at a certain level. Snow can be formed when cloud temperature is at freezing or below freezing. If clouds are filled with moisture then snow crystals will form. (Bentley) The snow crystals form on dust particles as the water vapor condenses and partially melted crystals cling together to form snowflakes. (Lansing) The shape that the snow crystals will take is dependent on the temperature at which it was formed. (Bentley) There are six different types of snow crystals; needles, columns, plates, columns capped with plates, dendrites and stars. (Bentley) The type of crystals depends on the amount of humidity and temperature present when they are forming. The simplest shape is a long needle shape like a spike. The other shapes all have six sides. One of them is a long, hollow column that is shaped like a six-sided prism. There are also thin, flat six-sided plates. Lastly there are intricate, six pointed stars. (Lansing) The temperature in the highest cloud is around -30 F and they are made up exclusively of ice crystal columns. The other three are formed in narrow temperature ranges. (Lansing) When the temperature in the clouds is 3 F to 10 F the star shaped crystals are formed. (Bentley) From 10 F to 18 F the plate's form and form 18 F to 23 F columns form. Form 23 F to 27 F needles form and from 27 F to 32 F the plates reappear. (Bentley) As the snow crystals grow they become heavier and fall towards the earth. (Conroy) If they spin like tops when they fall, then they may be perfectly symmetrical when they hit the Earth. However, if they fall in a sideways fashion they will end up lopsided. (Bentley) Falling snow crystals clump together and form snowflakes.