UPDATED: COVID-19 news and numbers
Building an equal future for women in Atlantic Canada
SPECIAL REPORT: Facets of family violence
What COVID-19 has taught us about long-term care
Have you tried the SaltWire News app?
What's working for businesses in 2021?
IN DEPTH: Covering a contentious lobster fishery
SaltWire Selects: Stories you don't want to miss
Grandma always said that snow was "healthy!" Growing up, I loved snow because it was fun. Depending on the type of snow, I would spend hours either building a snowman, tobogganing or just making snow angels across the front lawn.
As the glorious sound of children laughing and playing subsides, have you ever noticed the haunting quiet that settles across the new blanket of white?
There is a scientific reason behind the calming silence, with the characteristics of snow playing a big role in how sound can travel.
When light, fluffy snow accumulates on the ground, it acts as a sound absorber, dampening sound waves much like commercial sound-absorbing products. Dry, fluffy snow is porous, and typically porous materials such as fibres and foams absorb sound quite well.
Sound absorption is measured on a scale from 0 to 1. Based on previous measurements, sound absorption for snow is between 0.5 to 0.9: that implies that a good amount of sound is being absorbed.
It usually takes a good blanket of snow to make a difference, but a few centimetres can be reasonably absorbing. However, as the structure of snow changes, the amount of noise in the surrounding environment increases. When the snow surface melts and refreezes, it becomes hard and reflects sound waves, causing sounds to travel farther and become clearer.
Here are two interesting snow-related facts:
It’s a myth that no two snowflakes are the same. In 1988, a scientist found two identical snow crystals. They came from a storm in Wisconsin.
Nova Scotia holds the record for the most snow angels ever made simultaneously in multiple locations. In 2011, more than 22 thousand Nova Scotia residents in 130 separate locations all plopped down in the snow to make snow angels.
- Want more weather information? Visit your weather page.
- Have a weather question, photo or drawing to share with Cindy Day? Email [email protected]
Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network