10 Words for Snow

Snow words

Let me start out by saying that it's an urban legend that Eskimos have over 100 words for "snow". See this post from Oxford University Press to find out more. Nevertheless, there ARE multiple words for the white stuff! Here are ten:

1. Corn Snow - Large, grained, rounded, coarse, granular wet snow formed by cycles of melting and refreezing. A crust may form on top of the snow (even holding the weight of a person), but will turn to slush later in the day. It's usually formed in the spring, during sunny days and and clear, freezing nights.

2. Firn - Granular, round, well-bonded snow--especially on the upper part of a glacier--where it has not yet been compressed into ice (an intermediate stage between snow and glacial ice).

3. Hoarfrost - Tiny, spiky, dendritic, delicate ice crystals formed by the same process as dew, but results when the temperature of the surface is below freezing point, usually attaching to grass, leaves and branches. (To know what "hoary" means, click here.) 

4. Sleet - Rain mixed with snow. (I stand corrected by my 9th grade science teacher, Mr. "Pye" Plasko!) → Rain drops that freeze on the way down. TV weather casters often call this a "wintry mix". Sleet can contain ice pellets, but they're much smaller than those found in hail (and are technically called "graupel").

5. Rime - Crunchy, rough snow that often looks like styrofoam. Super-cold droplets from fog instantly freeze on solid surfaces, forming a think coat. Rime, too, can look spiky--but they're larger spikes that face towards the wind. Unlike hoarfrost, rime is solid white. Sometimes, rime can result in "snow ghosts" (aka frozen fog). Click here to read a travel story about tourists hunting frozen fog in China. 

6. Slush - Partly melted snow on the ground. If it were coming down from the sky, it would be sleet. (I stand corrected once again!)

7. Polycrystals - Large snowflakes formed many individual ice crystals.

8. Powder - New, dry snow composed of loose, pristine ice crystals.

9. Névé - Also related to glacier formation, Névé is granular snow that has been partially melted, refrozen and compacted. If it survives a full melt season, it becomes Firn.

10. Sastrugi - Imagine ripples among sand dunes--but as snow, instead. Formed by wind erosion, these irregular grooves and ridges can span centimeters or several feet.

About Janet and Her Lists of 10

Janet List 10
Well hello there!

So...why a Lists of 10 blog?

Honestly...I'm not sure.

The idea came to me and I thought "Huh. That would be kinda cool."

But I dismissed the idea. It seemed frivolous. Didn't advance my "brand". Wasn't promoting, marketing or selling anything (on purpose). Not "saving the planet" or "important work". Not trying educate or elucidate.

Yet, the idea persisted. For days.

It excites me. It intrigues me. It

And let me tell ya, I need more fun in my life. After writing practically non-stop for 15 years--(5 books, a dozen eBooks, 1,200+ reviews, hundreds articles/features)--I'm wore. OUT.

With the shenanigans going on in the world, you may need some more, too.

This won't be "Best Of" lists, mind you (although I may sneak in some of my favorites--but that's not the thrust of this blog).

Just Lists of 10.

Random lists. Possibly fascinating lists. Lists you may find entertaining, informative or thought-provoking.

Or distracting. Or a reason to procrastinate. Or something brief and innocuous to view while you wait for something..

Whatever the reason for your being here...welcome.

Yes, a hearty welcome to my Janet's Lists of 10 Blog.

P.S. If you're wondering "Yeah, but who is Janet?"--(I'll resist doing an impression of the Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar by asking Whoooo are youuuuuuu?)--please visit It'll probably tell ya what you want to know...and keep you busy for awhile. And try, too. Hubby, son and I make things.

P.P.S If you like this blog, you can share either or to spread the love (don't forget the .rocks--it's not a .com).

P.P.P.S. Feel free to offer suggestions for topics--or challenges!--in the comments below.