Why is snow white?

Weather

Colorado snow covered mountains Credit: Getty Images

DENVER (KDVR) — More snow is on the way for many parts of the country.

It falls every year, but have you ever stopped and thought to yourself, “Why is snow white”?

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research said there is a scientific reason why snow looks white, and it’s all about light.

“Light is scattered and bounces off the ice crystals in the snow. The reflected light includes all the colors, which, together, look white. While your red sweater absorbs all colors except red and reflects red back out for people to see and a yellow tennis ball absorbs all colors except yellow and reflects yellow back out for people to see, snow reflects all colors. And all the colors of light add up to white,” UCAR said. “Snow can also look blue or purple or even pink depending on how the sunlight hits it and whether it is in shadow.”

A good example of this is during sunrise the morning after a fresh blanket of snow falls. Sometimes the sun will shine through colored clouds, casting a colored shadow on snow. When that happens, the snow can appear as if it’s pink or purple or whatever color may be in the sky at that time.

Here are some examples of snow that looks other colors besides white:

As the storm moves toward New England on Thursday night, strong wind gusts over 50 mph will be widespread from Buffalo to Boston. The wintry weather mix will create dangerous road conditions for much of the country.

© 1998 - 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

Trending on NewsNation

Elections 2022

More Elections 2022