Why does the ice that forms from freezing rain or fog droplets look clear, but snow looks white?

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by Jeff Renner

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KING5.com

Posted on February 5, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Why does the ice that forms from freezing rain or fog droplets look clear, but snow looks white?

Rain drops or fog droplets spread over a surface and freeze slowly; the process moves from liquid water to solid water. Snowflakes, on the other hand, form from water vapor (the gas form of water)...not from liquid water. They crystallize directly into 'solid water', or ice crystals. Those ice crystals have many facets, which reflect and scatter light. That's why snowflakes look white, and not clear.

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