How can snow exist in the tropics along the equator?

Snow and ice can exist along the equator because of extreme altitude. The higher up you travel the colder it gets (about 3 degrees Fahrenheit per 1000 feet climbed, or around 5 degrees celsius for every kilometer), so right at the top of the mountain it will be much colder that at the base of the mountain.

Even in the summer, on the hottest days, almost all precipitation begins as snow. It melts on the way down, so we perceive it as rain. So if you make a mountain high enough, it will have snow fall on it instead of rain.

The best example of this is the highest mountain in Africa, called Mount Kilimanjaro, which is the the country of Tanzania. However, the only place where snow exists on the exact equator is in the Andes Mountains in Equador. Using the

As for the mechanics of why the atmosphere gets colder with altitude, it's a little complicated, but it has to do with a few factors, such as decreasing density and pressure with height. There is an excellent explanation at this website: