Snow

Norwegian train plowing through drifted snow
Extratropical cyclonic snowstorm, February 24, 2007—(Click for animation.)
Frontal snowsquall moving toward Boston, Massachusetts
Cold northwesterly wind over Lake Superior and Lake Michigan creating lake-effect snowfall
Freshly fallen snowflakes
An early classification of snowflakes by Israel Perkins Warren
An animation of seasonal snow changes, based on satellite imagery
New York City during a 2016 blizzard, which
 produced local wind gusts up to 42 mph and dropped 27.5 in of snow, breaking the city's one-day snowfall record.
Snow-covered trees in Kuusamo, Finland
Fresh snow beginning to metamorphose: The surface shows wind packing and sastrugi. In the foreground are hoar frost crystals, formed by refrozen water vapor emerging to the cold surface.
Firn—metamorphosed multi-year snow
Snow drifts forming around downwind obstructions
A powder snow avalanche
Snowmelt-induced flooding of the Red River of the North in 1997
Snow pit on the surface of a glacier, profiling snow properties where the snow becomes increasingly dense with depth as it metamorphoses towards ice
Snowfall and snowmelt are parts of the Earth's water cycle.
Traffic stranded in a 2011 Chicago snowstorm.
Winter conditions on Ontario Highway 401 in Toronto due to a snowsquall.
Deicing an aircraft during a snow event
Satellite view of the Indus River, showing snow in the Himalayas, which feeds it, and agricultural areas in Pakistan that draw on it for irrigation.
Extreme snow accumulation on building roofs
Icings resulting from meltwater at the bottom of the snow pack on the roof, flowing and refreezing at the eave as icicles and from leaking into the wall via an ice dam.
Alpine skiing.
Algae, Chlamydomonas nivalis, that thrive in snow form red areas in the suncups on this snow surface
Arctic fox, a predator of smaller animals that live beneath the snow
Trucks plowing snow on a highway in Missouri
Airport snow-clearing operations include plowing and brushing
Swiss low-profile, train-mounted snowplow
Bivouac of Napoleon's Grande Armée, during the winter retreat from Moscow
Finnish ski troops during the invasion of Finland by the Soviet Union
Army vehicles coping with snow during the Battle of the Bulge of World War II.
Norwegian military preparations during the 2009 Cold Response exercise
Navy SEALs training for winter warfare at Mammoth Mountain, California.

Snow comprises individual ice crystals that grow while suspended in the atmosphere—usually within clouds—and then fall, accumulating on the ground where they undergo further changes.

- Snow
Norwegian train plowing through drifted snow

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Heavy snow during the January 2016 United States blizzard.

Blizzard

Severe snowstorm characterized by strong sustained winds and low visibility, lasting for a prolonged period of time—typically at least three or four hours.

Severe snowstorm characterized by strong sustained winds and low visibility, lasting for a prolonged period of time—typically at least three or four hours.

Heavy snow during the January 2016 United States blizzard.
Blizzard into Tochal Skiing resort, Tehran and involved skiers.
Drifted snow near Burrow-with-Burrow, Lancashire, England, January 1963
Near-whiteout conditions dim the far end of Times Square in New York City, 2015.
March blizzard in North Dakota, 1966.
The Brooklyn Bridge during the Great Blizzard of 1888.
Conditions approaching a blizzard whiteout in Minnesota, on March 1, 2007. Note the unclear horizon near the center.
Illustration of the Great Blizzard of 1888
A snow blockade in southern Minnesota, central US. On March 29, 1881, snowdrifts in Minnesota were higher than locomotives.
Stereoscopic view card showing "Blasting ice with dynamite from in front of steamer on the ways, by Stanley J. Morrow" ~ A view of Yankton's riverfront after the flood of March 1881.
Under the weight of snow, a tree falls next to a car in Asheville, North Carolina

In the United States, the National Weather Service defines a blizzard as a severe snow storm characterized by strong winds causing blowing snow that results in low visibilities.

Cross-country skiers in western Norway.

Cross-country skiing

Form of skiing where skiers rely on their own locomotion to move across snow-covered terrain, rather than using ski lifts or other forms of assistance.

Form of skiing where skiers rely on their own locomotion to move across snow-covered terrain, rather than using ski lifts or other forms of assistance.

Cross-country skiers in western Norway.
Sami hunter using skis of unequal length—short for traction, long for gliding—and a single pole. Both were employed until c. 1900. (1673 woodcut)
German Reichswehr military patrol on skis training in the Giant Mountains, January 1932.
Michal Malák skate-skis at a qualifier for the Tour de Ski, 2007.
Arctic travelers, Fridtjov Nansen and Hjalmar Johansen at the camp of Frederick Jackson on Northbrook Island in 1896.
Ski touring in untracked terrain.
Groomed ski trails for cross-country in Thuringia, track-set for classic skiing at the sides and groomed for skate skiing in the center.
Swede Anna Haag with classic technique in the women's 10 km classic race at the 2011 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Oslo, Norway.
Skiers employing step turns, while descending during a 2006 FIS World Cup Cross Country competition in Otepää, Estonia.
Pre-1940 ski gear in Oslo: bamboo poles, wooden skis, and cable bindings.
Cross-country ski equipment for skate-skiing (left) and classic-style skiing (right). Ski and pole lengths are different for each. Classic skis have a "grip zone" in the area under the binding.
Cross-country ski boot and standardized binding system for classic skiing. The skier clicks the toe of the boot into the binding and releases with the button in front of the boot.
An early depiction of a skier—a Sami woman or goddess hunting on skis by Olaus Magnus (1553).
Loyal retainers transporting Prince Haakon IV of Norway to safety on skis during the winter of 1206—1869 depiction by Knud Bergslien.
Olav V of Norway as crown-prince in 1939
A skate-skier in Gatineau Park, Quebec, a North American groomed-trail ski venue.
A recreational cross-country trail, groomed for classic skiing only, in Tyrol.
A blind cross-country skier with guide at a regional Ski for Light event.
Dog skijoring—dogs provide added propulsion to the cross-country skier.

Standard orienteering maps are used, but with special green overprinting of trails and tracks to indicate their navigability in snow; other symbols indicate whether any roads are snow-covered or clear.

The glacier of the Geikie Plateau in Greenland.

Glacier

Persistent body of dense ice that is constantly moving under its own weight.

Persistent body of dense ice that is constantly moving under its own weight.

The glacier of the Geikie Plateau in Greenland.
With 7,253 known glaciers, Pakistan contains more glacial ice than any other country on earth outside the polar regions. At 62 km in length, its Baltoro Glacier is one of the world's longest alpine glaciers.
Aerial view of a glacier in Chugach State Park, Alaska, United States
Webber Glacier on Grant Land (northern Ellesmere Island) is an advancing polar glacier and frozen to the glacier bed. Debris rich layers of the ground moraine are sheared and folded into the ice. The steep icefront shows waterfalls. The glacier front is 6 km broad and up to 40 m high (July 20, 1978)
Shear or herring-bone crevasses on Emmons Glacier (Mount Rainier); such crevasses often form near the edge of a glacier where interactions with underlying or marginal rock impede flow. In this case, the impediment appears to be some distance from the near margin of the glacier.
Forbes bands on the Mer de Glace glacier in France
Black ice glacier near Aconcagua, Argentina
Fox Glacier in New Zealand finishes near a rainforest.
Diagram of glacial plucking and abrasion
Glacially plucked granitic bedrock near Mariehamn, Åland
Glacial moraines above Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
A drumlin field forms after a glacier has modified the landscape. The teardrop-shaped formations denote the direction of the ice flow.
Features of a glacial landscape
Landscape produced by a receding glacier
South Cascade Glacier in Washington documented from 1928 to 2003 showing the recent rapid glacier retreating. By looking at this photo it's clear to see how quickly the glaciers are retreating in the modern world. This kind of retreating is the result of climate change which has significantly increased due to human impacts. This photo was taken from USGS U.S. Department of Interior research looking at the last 50 years of glacier change.
Isostatic pressure by a glacier on the Earth's crust
Northern polar ice cap on Mars.
Ice calving from the terminus of the Perito Moreno Glacier in western Patagonia, Argentina.
The Aletsch Glacier, the largest glacier of the Alps, in Switzerland.
The Quelccaya Ice Cap is the second-largest glaciated area in the tropics, in Peru.
Mouth of the Schlatenkees Glacier near Innergschlöß, Austria.
The Grotta del Gelo is a cave of Etna volcano, the southernmost glacier in Europe.
Sightseeing boat in front of a tidewater glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska.
Gorner Glacier in Switzerland.
An aerial photograph of the Gorner Glacier (left side of image) together with the Grenzgletscher (r.) flowing into it, both framing the Monte Rosa massif in the middle
A packrafter passes a wall of freshly exposed blue ice on Spencer Glacier, in Alaska. Glacial ice acts like a filter on light, and the more time light spends traveling through the ice, the bluer it becomes.
A glacier cave located on the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina.
Ice cracks in the Titlis Glacier.
Crossing a crevasse on the Easton Glacier, Mount Baker, in the North Cascades, United States.
An exposed glacier tube that once transported water down the interior of the glacier.
Romer Lake's Elephant Foot Glacier in the Earth's Arctic, as seen by Landsat 8. This picture shows several glaciers that have the same shape as many features on Mars that are believed to also be glaciers.  The next three images from Mars show shapes similar to the Elephant Foot Glacier.
Mesa in Ismenius Lacus quadrangle, as seen by CTX. Mesa has several glaciers eroding it. One of the glaciers is seen in greater detail in the next two images from HiRISE. Image from Ismenius Lacus quadrangle.
Glacier as seen by HiRISE under the HiWish program. Area in the rectangle is enlarged in the next photo. Zone of accumulation of snow at the top. Glacier is moving down valley, then spreading out on plain. Evidence for flow comes from the many lines on surface. Location is in Protonilus Mensae in Ismenius Lacus quadrangle.
Enlargement of area in rectangle of the previous image. On Earth, the ridge would be called the terminal moraine of an alpine glacier. Picture taken with HiRISE under the HiWish program. Image from Ismenius Lacus quadrangle.

A glacier forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation over many years, often centuries.

A hybrid Frontal-Lake Effect Snowsquall hitting Toronto, Canada during rush hour.

Snowsquall

A hybrid Frontal-Lake Effect Snowsquall hitting Toronto, Canada during rush hour.
Frontal snowsquall moving toward Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Rapidly deteriorating weather conditions during snowsqualls often lead to traffic accidents.
Winter conditions on Ontario Highway 401 in Toronto due to a snowsquall.

A snowsquall, or snow squall, is a sudden moderately heavy snowfall with blowing snow and strong, gusty surface winds.

Alpine skiers

Skiing

Alpine skiers
Spring ski touring on Hardangervidda, Norway
Four groups of different ski types, from left to right:
1. Non-sidecut: cross-country, telemark and mountaineering 2. Parabolic
3. Twin-tip
4. Powder
Giant Slalom Ski Racer
Freestyle switch 720 mute grab
A ski jumper using the V-style
Cross country skiing—free-style or skate-skiing
Dry slope racing
A skier with a disability on a sit-ski, using two outriggers.

Skiing is the use of skis to glide on snow.

Alpine skiers

Alpine skiing

Alpine skiers
Alpine ski slope in the Zillertal valley, Austria
Alpine ski slopes in San Carlos de Bariloche (Argentina)
Four groups of different ski types, from left to right: 
1. Non-sidecut: cross-country, telemark and mountaineering 
2. Parabolic 
3. Twin-tip 
4. Powder
Marcel Hirscher competing in the combined slalom at the World Championships in 2017
Ski trails are measured by percent slope, not degree angle. (North America)
European piste rating system (blue, red, black)

Alpine skiing, or downhill skiing, is the pastime of sliding down snow-covered slopes on skis with fixed-heel bindings, unlike other types of skiing (cross-country, Telemark, or ski jumping), which use skis with free-heel bindings.

Sampling the surface of a glacier. There is increasingly dense firn between surface snow and blue glacier ice.

Firn

Sampling the surface of a glacier. There is increasingly dense firn between surface snow and blue glacier ice.
Firn field on the top of Säuleck, Hohe Tauern

Firn (from Swiss German firn "last year's", cognate with before) is partially compacted névé, a type of snow that has been left over from past seasons and has been recrystallized into a substance denser than névé.

Névé in a valley of Haute-Savoie, France

Névé

Névé in a valley of Haute-Savoie, France

Névé is a young, granular type of snow which has been partially melted, refrozen and compacted, yet precedes the form of ice.

Mount Everest, Earth's highest mountain

Mountain

Elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock.

Elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock.

Mount Everest, Earth's highest mountain
Mount Fuji, Japan's highest mountain
Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa's highest mountain
Peaks of Mount Kenya
Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Russia and Europe
Puncak Jaya in Indonesia, the highest mountain in Oceania
Geological cross-section of Fuji volcano
Illustration of mountains that developed on a fold that has been thrusted
Pirin Mountain, Bulgaria, part of the fault-block Rila-Rhodope massif
The Catskills in Upstate New York represent an eroded plateau.
A combination of high latitude and high altitude makes the northern Urals in picture to have climatic conditions that make the ground barren.
Mount Siguniang, Sichuan, China
An alpine mire in the Swiss Alps
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The city of La Paz reaches up to 4000 m in elevation.
Mountaineers climbing in South Tyrol
Chimborazo, Ecuador. The point on Earth's surface farthest from its centre.

As the altitude increases, the main form of precipitation becomes snow and the winds increase.

Bentley at work

Wilson Bentley

American meteorologist and photographer, who was the first known person to take detailed photographs of snowflakes and record their features.

American meteorologist and photographer, who was the first known person to take detailed photographs of snowflakes and record their features.

Bentley at work
Snowflake photos by Bentley, circa 1902
Bentley snowflake micrograph, 1890

He first became interested in snow crystals as a teenager on his family farm.