Who Was Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley?
Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley was the first person to successfully photograph snowflakes. He was a farmer from Vermont who loved winter and became fascinated by snowflakes. He captured his first photograph of a snowflakes through a microscope on January 15, 1885. As you can see from the picture above, he took pictures outside in the cold so the snowflakes would not melt.
During his lifetime, he took nearly 6,000 photos of snowflakes and found that no two snowflakes are alike.
Images: Bentley’s snowflake photographs, courtesy of NOAA.
Learn some interesting facts about snow!
- Most of the heat in your body escapes through your head. If you’re planning on going out into the snow, make sure to cover your head and neck with a hat and scarf to help avoid hypothermia.
- There’s a difference between a winter storm warning and watch:
- Winter Storm Warning: Take action! The National Weather Service issues this type of announcement when a winter storm is about to happen, or is happening right now. If you hear this, find shelter until it’s safe to be outside again, and make sure to bring your pets inside.
- Winter Storm Watch: Be prepared! This kind of announcement means that the weather ingredients are present for a storm to develop. It’s not guaranteed that a storm will occur, but you should be ready for it. Do you and your family have an emergency supply kit? Grab a family member and look over this checklist so you can be prepared.
- Learn more about winter weather safety with NWS mascot, Owlie Skywarn! Play the winter weather portion of the Young Meteorologist Program game!
- Both the North and South Pole are covered in snow, but the South Pole is much colder than the North! The North Pole is found in the ocean (the Arctic Ocean), and the South Pole is found on land (Antarctica). Large bodies of water, such as the Arctic Ocean, regulate the temperature of the air by storing large amounts of heat, preventing the air above from getting too cold or too warm. Meanwhile, Antarctica is dry and high, with an average altitude of 7,500 feet. The higher you go, the thinner and colder the air becomes, leaving the South Pole with an average winter temperature of -76 °F compared to the North Pole’s -40°F.