The Snow Won't Melt! Is it Fake?...
Social media has been blowing up with videos of people claiming that the snow is fake! They hold a lighter up to a ball of snow, then freak out when it doesn't melt and begins turning black. Some have even reported the snow has a "chemical" smell to it when burned. This video will refresh your memory on the subject...
Video Courtesy: Titus OneTenEleven
A ton of people quickly cried out that it must be from the chem trails or that a conspiracy theory is to blame. Trust me, I would be the first one to point the finger at our government for suspicious activity. In this case there is a perfectly good scientific explanation to debunk these claims.
As you know, we have been dealing with crazy cold temperatures so far this winter. When readings both at the surafce and in the atmosphere are well below the freezing mark, it limits the amount of liquid in the snow. Have you noticed that the snow is light and powery as opposed to wet and heavy? This dry snow has way more air pockets between the snow crystals. When a lighter is placed against the snow, the snow vaporizes in a process called sublimation. Sublimation is the process of converting a solid to a gas, without the intermediate liquid stage. Now it should begin to make a bit more sense. The snow turned into vapor instead of melting into a puddle and any liquid that did form got absorbed by the snow.
The bottom line here is that dry snow just doesn't have a high enough water content, when paired with extreme heat, to result in a puddle. One last thing, the black spots and the "chemical smell" can be attributed to the lighter. If you put a lighter under nearly anything, it will leave behind black soot. Last but not least, the fumes are from the butane in the lighter.