On any given day, my job allows me to talk to people across the country and around the world. Regardless of who I’m talking to, the call almost always begins with a brief discussion about the weather. At our news meetings, editors in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are quick to compare who is having the worst weather – are grey, rainy, warm winter days better than clear, sunny, freezing cold ones?

The science of weather – and in particular, winter weather – is fascinating. We had a great piece this week about how scientists are looking at penguin feathers in their search for better de-icing techniques. And another fascinating article explained how snowflakes are formed and answers the question: is each snowflake really one-of-a-kind?

For your winter weekend reading pleasure, I’ve assembled some weather-related articles (including some from our archives) from across the global network of The Conversation that explain the wonders of winter.

Have a great weekend, wherever this finds you, and enjoy the outdoors if you can. We’ll be back in your Inbox on Monday.

Scott White

CEO | Editor-in-Chief

Winter Weekend Reads

Penguin feathers help inspire new de-icing techniques

Anne-Marie Kietzig, McGill University; Michael John Wood, McGill University

Nature takes a unique approach to solving its icy surface problems. We found the solution to de-icing challenges in the feathers of adorable wobble-gaited penguins.

How do snowflakes form? Is each snowflake really unique? Why is some snow light and fluffy or heavy? The amazing science of snow

Krystopher Chutko, University of Saskatchewan

Molecule by molecule, a snowflake grows and eventually begins to fall. A scientific look at the amazing nature of snowflakes and snow.

Taking fitness outside: 9 tips for becoming more active through the Canadian winter

Iris Lesser, University of The Fraser Valley; Amanda Wurz, University of The Fraser Valley; Cynthia Thomson, University of The Fraser Valley

Taking your physical activity outside comes with added benefits. Here are ways to pursue your fitness goals outdoors, even in the middle of a Canadian winter.

Why winter walks at the seaside are good for you

Nick Davies, Glasgow Caledonian University; Sean J Gammon, University of Central Lancashire

Getting your coat on is the perfect antidote to the January blues.

Cover your face, wear a hat and stay hydrated to exercise safely through the winter

Michael Kennedy, University of Alberta

Preparing for being active in cold weather can help keep us safe and increase our enjoyment.

Skiing in the Alps faces a bleak future thanks to climate change

Klaus Dodds, Royal Holloway University of London

The Alps are warming at twice the global rate.

Hen Galan: why one Welsh community celebrates the new year on January 14

Eryn White, Aberystwyth University

Britain may have ditched the Roman calendar in 1752 but Cwm Gwaun continues to cling on to its old traditions.

The secret to turtle hibernation: Butt-breathing

Jacqueline Litzgus, Laurentian University

Crisp temperatures, ice-capped ponds and frozen landscapes send animals scurrying for cover. But just what do turtles do when winter takes hold?