When snow lies on the ground, the views can be breathtaking.
But the true beauty of snow lies in the formation of individual snowflakes.
Snowflakes are varied in appearance and unbelievably complex.
But how can water form these structures?
Snowflakes form from the water vapour in clouds when the temperature is 0°C or lower.
The types of snowflakes that form depend on a number of factors, including temperature, humidity and altitude of formation.
Snowflakes commonly form in a hexagonal shape, but can range from very simple to complex in appearance.
In general, the lower the temperature, the more delicate and intricate the snowflake.
Just below freezing, flakes tend to resemble very fine needles or simple hexagonal plates, which are often very small in size.
As things begin to get colder, the plates expand and form indentations of increasing complexity as the snowflake grows.
Colder still, the flakes grow tiny needles from their plates, forming the most iconic of snowflakes: the stellar dendrites.
The symmetry that's inherent in snowflakes is the result of the arrangement of water molecules in ice, which form weak hydrogen bonds with one another.
The water molecules arrange themselves to form a highly ordered three-dimensional lattice, creating the beautifully symmetrical structure of the snowflake.
Snowflakes may be pretty, but they also have a dark side.
When different types of snowflake lie on top of one another, they can create an unstable layer of snow, which if disturbed, can lead to a terrifying sight – an avalanche.
All because of the structure of the simple water molecule.