Wyomingite, how well do you know your snow?

1. A blizzard has visibility down to one quarter mile, when winds are 35 miles an hour or more, but it must last at least three hours to be classed as a blizzard. If any of these conditions are less, it is only a snowstorm.

2. Enjoying many winter sports, Wyoming likes how the snow is usually a dry “powder,” also known as “pow pow,” aka “pow, aka “champagne snow.” It has such low moisture you can’t even make a snowball with it, but it’s great for skiing. On the other hand “mashed potatoes” is a dense, heavy snow that makes it hard to turn skis.

3. Snow reflects enough radiation to cause snow blindness (photokeratitis). This is intensified by rays 5 percent more ultraviolent per 1000 feet above sea level (over 25 percent more dangerous for most Wyomingites). One word: Sunglasses.

4. Not just in Wyoming, but in many western states, mountain snow pack contributes up to 75 percent of all year-round surface water supplies.

5. Fresh snow is an excellent insulator. Ten inches of fresh snow (with a density of 0.07 inches - seven percent water), is approximately equal to a six-inch-layer of fiberglass insulation with an insulation R-value of R-18. Wyoming hibernating is nice and warm.

Bonus 1: When cold enough to snow, children should be so heavily dressed that all movement is restricted except for eye blinking.

Bonus 2: It’s well known no two snow flakes are exactly alike, until kids track them in to become the same little puddle.

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