[AS.] Frozen moisture falling in soft white flakes. It is not produced, like hail, by the freezing of rain-drops, but formed by the direct passage of the vapor into the solid state. It falls to the earth in flakes, each flake consisting of a regularly shaped crystal, or, as more commonly happens, of several crystals grouped together. The most common form is that of six-pointed stars variously modified. Each star has a solid nucleus, from which six little rods of ice proceed at regular angles, and from the sides of these rods secondary rays may be given off, producing a countless variety of very beautiful figures. The snow flakes are largest when the temperature is near the freezing-point, the snow being then soft and easily gathering into masses. The texture of snow being very loose, it is a bad conductor of heat; and being also a bad radiator on account of its white color, it forms an admirable covering for plants, shielding them from the effects of severe frosts.