The snowdrops are out, the daffodils are beginning to emerge and we’re all looking forward to spring. But it’s important to remember that the cold blasts of winter may not be done with us yet.
So, to keep the chill at the forefront of our minds, we’ve compiled a few facts about winter that’ll probably have you moving your chair closer to the nearest radiator.
- The largest individual snowflake ever seen was 15 inches wide and 8 inches thick. It fell in Montana in 1887 and although there are no photos, it was celebrated as a Google Doodle in 2012.
- Winters in the Southern Hemisphere are typically milder than they are in the Northern Hemisphere, principally because there is less land in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Some people – though hopefully not Eskimos – suffer from chionophobia, which is a fear of snow: the Greek word for snow is chion (whilst rare, snow is not unheard of in that country).
- The New Zealand alpine weta (a kind of giant cricket) can survive being frozen solid in the winter. But as soon as the weather warms up, they come back to life.
- Other animals survive the winter by turning white. The Arctic fox, Arctic hare, ermine, caribous and the ptarmigan all camouflage themselves against snow to make them less visible to predators and prey.
- Weirdly, the Northern Hemisphere is actually around 3 million miles closer to the sun during the winter than it is in summer. The reason it’s colder and the days are shorter in the winter is because the angle of the earth ensures it’s tilting away from the sun.
- There are two types of snow: wet and dry. Dry snow is caused when the snowflakes fall through a cold, dry atmosphere making them small and powdery. Wet snow forms when the flakes fall through temperatures fractionally above freezing, causing them to melt slightly around the edges and stick together to create large, heavy flakes.
- Ice is, in fact, classified as a mineral.
- The eyes of reindeer change colour from gold in the summer to blue in the winter to enable them to see better in the dark conditions.
- The animal that migrates the furthest to escape cold winter conditions is the Arctic tern, which flies an average of 60,000 miles a year, from Antarctica to its breeding grounds in the Faroe Islands, which are over 300 miles north of Scotland.
If you want to stay nice and cosy at home over the winter months, visit one of our showrooms in Islington, St Albans or Brighton to see how designer radiators can brighten up your home at the same time as keeping it warm.