A report on Snow and Wilson Bentley

Norwegian train plowing through drifted snow
Bentley at work
Extratropical cyclonic snowstorm, February 24, 2007—(Click for animation.)
Snowflake photos by Bentley, circa 1902
Frontal snowsquall moving toward Boston, Massachusetts
Bentley snowflake micrograph, 1890
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.
Worldwide occurrence of snowfall. Snow at reference above sea level (meters):Below 500: annually.
Below 500: annually, but not in all of its territory.
500: above annually, below occasionally.
Above 500: annually.
Above 2,000: annually.
Any elevation: none.

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

- Wilson Bentley

Micrography of thousands of snowflakes from 1885 onward, starting with Wilson Alwyn Bentley, revealed the wide diversity of snowflakes within a classifiable set of patterns.

- Snow
Norwegian train plowing through drifted snow

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Freshly fallen snowflakes

Snowflake

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Freshly fallen snowflakes
Macro photography of natural snowflake
Naturally formed snowflakes differ from one another through happenstance of formation. The characteristic six branches is related with the crystal structure of ice.
Scanning electron microscope image of rime frost on both ends of a "capped column" snowflake.
Snow crystals in strong direct sunlight act like small prisms
An early classification of snowflakes by Israel Perkins Warren.
Wilson Bentley micrograph showing two classes of snowflake, plate and column. Missing is an example of a needle.
Snowflake in the coat of arms of Lumijoki
The three grades in the Order of Canada (Companion, Officer and Member, respectively).

A snowflake is a single ice crystal that has achieved a sufficient size, and may have amalgamated with others, which falls through the Earth's atmosphere as snow.

Initial attempts to find identical snowflakes by photographing thousands of them with a microscope from 1885 onward by Wilson Alwyn Bentley found the wide variety of snowflakes we know about today.