As water vapor freezes within a cloud, temperature, wind and humidity will influence the size and shape of the ice crystals that fall to the ground. Sometimes they will clump together to form large, wet flakes. Or, they'll fall as dry, powdery snow. But if the conditions are just right and the ice crystals can grow large and drift gently earthward without clumping together, the result is a flurry of endless masterpieces—those elaborate star-shaped flakes.
These wintry beauties are scientifically referred to as six-sided dentritic ice crystals. They may appear to have endless shapes and forms, but they all maintain their hallmark hexagonal shape; and none of their branches are ever exactly the same. In fact; these snowflakes are so intricate, they have the focus of much admiration and study.