Scroll down for the answers (but not before you guess)!
1. If you have been out in the cold and are afraid that you have frostbite, you should rub the affected area with snow. True or False?
2. How many sides does a regular snow crystal have?
3. Car A and Car B are traveling down ice-glazed roads at the same speed in two different locations. The temperature where Car A is traveling is 30 degrees Fahrenheit; the temperature where Car B is traveling is 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The drivers of both cars hit the brakes at exactly the same moment. If both the cars and the roads they travel are otherwise identical, which car will come to a stop first? (Hint: Hitting a tree doesn’t count.)
4. We’ve all heard of snow blindness, a condition caused by sunlight reflecting off snow. But what percentage of the Sun’s rays is actually reflected back from freshly fallen snow?
5. Many celebrations occur near the shortest day of the year. What is this day called?
6. The word “winter” comes from an old germanic word wintar. What does it mean?
7. Which has a colder winter—the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern Hemisphere?
8. How quickly do snowflakes fall from the sky (in miles per hour)
9. What’s more dangerous: hypothermia or frostbite?
10. What is the width of the largest snowflake on record?
a. Three inches
b. Five inches
c. Ten inches
d. Fifteen inches
1. False. Frozen skin tissue can easily be damaged by rubbing. A better alternative is to heat the frostbitten area quickly in warm, but not hot, water.
3. Car B will stop before Car A. The car driving on ice at 30 degrees Fahrenheit needs a braking distance twice as long as the car driving on ice at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, since ice is more slippery near the freezing point than at lower temperatures.
4. The albedo—the reflective property—of fresh snow is typically around 87 percent.
6. “Time of water” is the meaning of “winter” (or wintar).
7. The Northern Hemisphere is colder! Why? It comes down to which hemisphere has more water (which retains heat better than land). The Northern Hemisphere is 61% water and the Southern Hemisphere is 81% ocean and, as a result, warmer.
8. Snowflakes fall at an average speed of 3 to 4 miles per hour. Not too fast, so don’t worry about being clobbered! See some more cool snow facts.
9. Hypothermia. A person is unable to think clearly or move. Get them into warm room, remove wet clothing, and warm up the body with warm blankets and drinks.
10. d. Fifteen inches wide! No kidding. According to Guinness World Records, this snowflake was recorded in 1887 in Montana by a rancher. But there’s no photographic evidence! Learn more about the first snowflake photographer.
In order to be prepared for what this winter brings, check out the latest edition of The Old Farmer’s Almanac to see our weather predictions for the entire year!