Ben asked: What is the difference in between snow and also hail, and why are the inhabitants of Jerusalem lucky sufficient to acquire snow, while in Tel Aviv they obtain hail?

Hello Ben,

The difference in between snow and also hail is in the wind and temperature of the air when the snowflake or hail stone fall to the ground.

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Both hail and snow begin their journey in the same form, however something happens on the way down to produce the difference in between them. Snow is created when a droplet of water is captured on a dust particle. Because the air in ~ a high level is really cold, the droplet immediately freezes and also starts come crystalize. The crystal forms in the form of a hexagon and also develops symmetrically on its six vertices. The specific shape that will develop into relies on humidity, temperature and on the winds that carry the snowflake gradually to the ground.  

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Image the a snowflake under an electron microscopic lense | photograph by: Dcoetzee, Wikipedia

Hail also begins together a frozen droplet that water, and also sometimes also as a snowflake. But instead that falling right down, the wind blows it greater causing it to accumulate added droplets the freeze about it. The bump of ice that is produced is heavier and also falls under faster, and also then the wind strikes it earlier up again. This causes it come gain an ext and an ext ice layers until lastly it is too hefty to climb again, and it falls to the ground.

A lump of hail can reach the dimension of a pea, yet under the suitable conditions, with solid enough winds advertise it up, it deserve to become vast and create an ice sphere of 20cm in diameter and weighing virtually a kilogram (although this is fairly rare). The falling and rising cycles have the right to be identified in the ice ball according come its layers, simply as in rings of a tree tribe or one onion. For this reason snow can actually type in lower areas such together Tel Aviv – it simply defrosts top top its method to the ground. While in greater areas wherein the temperature is lower, snow has a greater chance of getting to the soil while quiet frozen. In contrast, hail is too huge and hefty to defrost throughout its fall, and also therefore it appears likewise in lower areas. 


It shows up that part bacteria have the right to serve together nuclei because that snowflakes. This bacteria have special protein in their membranes, which enable them to capture the water droplet and also serve as an initial cell nucleus that allows the snowflake to be created around them. This bacteria become the crystalizing cell core of the snowflake and they actually take advantage of it together a long-distance dispersing mechanism.

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Flower pollen use a similar mechanism as well. A examine from 2010 revealed that snowflakes the landed in the west the the USA consisted of particles originating indigenous the Sahara desert and also Saudi Arabia. This bacteria or pollen soared ~ above the wind at one side of the world, brought at high great of the atmosphere, then captured in water droplets, and finally fell as eye or hail.

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