snow georgia
The 'fake snow' theories arrived after the rare storm which hit US states such as GeorgiaReuters

In January 2014, thousands of people in the usually warm southern US city of Atlanta, Georgia experienced a rare snowstorm which effectively brought it to a standstill.

The storm, which left around two to three inches of snow on the ground, caused virtual gridlock on the roads and thousands of people were left trapped on the city's highways for hours.

While some considered the storm a freak occurrence similar to the Polar Vortex which recently gripped most of the country – or even a direct consequence of global warming and climate change – many felt there was an altogether more sinister explanation.

Meet the fake snow conspiracy theorists, those who believe the snow which recently fell in states such as Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia was planted by the government.

There are countless videos online of people showing the snow does not melt or leave a puddle of water when exposed to an open flame, and also leaves a black mark resembling an attempt to melt Styrofoam.

YouTube videos show people attempting to melt the snow using a lighter or a blowtorch.

When this fails, they see it as proof that the government is deploying an old weapon known as geo-engineering" – whereby the administration uses the weather as a weapon – or that "chemtrails" are being sprayed into the air as part of a covert government operation to slow down the global warming process by increasing the amount of sunlight that is reflected back into space.

"You're being distracted from all fronts, you're preoccupied. They're up here signing bills, the government, to pretty much take away more of your rights and freedoms," said YouTube user Occult Sin on one of his videos, which purports to expose the fake snow "truth".

However, as the number of videos uploaded online began to increase, scientists came forward to give an explanation as to why the 'fake snow' does not melt.

Steve Ackerman, a professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at the UW-Madison, explained to the Wisconsin State Journal that when you heat snow, it turns from a solid to a gas during a process called sublimation.

"Whenever there is an interface of air and water, either liquid or solid, you have molecules trying to leave the water," he said.

"The constantly vibrating molecules in a liquid or solid are restrained but a water molecule will escape the water and enter the air when it moves violently enough.

"We call that evaporation from a liquid, and sublimation from a solid," Ackerman said.

The black mark left on the ground can also simply be explained as butane from the lighter after being exposed to the snow.

Scientists add that the effects of sublimation can be seen in freezers, when ice cubes sometimes shrink over time, or when snow melts in a field.

"You notice there's no liquid water, none of the hard ice that results from melting and refreezing, but the snow still shrinks," Ackerman added.