Thursday, 8 December 2016

Christmas Explained: I is for Ice

Did you know...?
  1. The average snowflake has a top speed of 1.7 metres per second.
  2. For it to snow the tops of the clouds must be below zero degrees Celsius (or 32 degrees Fahrenheit).
  3. The largest piece of ice to fall to earth was an ice block 6m (or 20ft) across that fell in Scotland on 13 August 1849.
  4. The largest hailstone recorded fell on 14 April 1986 in Bangladesh weighing 1kg (2.25lbs). The hailstorm reportedly killed 92 people.
  5. The largest snowflakes in the world fell across Fort Keogh in Montana (USA) on 28 January 1887.
  6. Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the only permanent snowcap within sight of the equator.
  7. Permanent snow and ice cover about 12% (21 million square kilometres) of the Earth's land surface.
  8. 80% of the world's fresh water is locked up as ice or snow.
  9. A single snowstorm can drop 40 million tons of snow, carrying the energy equivalent to 120 atom bombs.
  10. There is not a law of nature that prohibits 2 snowflakes from being identical.
  11. In Australia, snowfalls are common above 1,500m in the Alps during the winter, but there are no permanent snowfields anywhere on the continent.
  12. The most snow produced in a single snowstorm is 4.8m (15.75ft) at Mt Shasta Ski Bowl, California (USA) between 13 and 19 February 1959.
At a thickness of two inches, ice will support a man. At a thickness of four inches, it will support man on horseback. At a thickness of six inches, it will support teams with moderate loads. At a thickness of eight inches, it will support heavy loads. At a thickness of ten inches, will support 1,000 pounds to the square foot.

Between 1400 and 1814 (which was the last time it happened) the River Thames froze over 26 times. And when it froze solid, Londoners made the most of it, holding Frost Fairs on the ice.

For more seasonal facts about ice and snow, and for more on the Frost Fairs of London, order your copy of Christmas Explained: Robins, Kings and Brussel Sprouts today!

No comments: