Note 1: (flakes of snow)
In the July 10, 1997 edition of the science journal Nature (Vol. 388), Euan Nisbet of the department of Geology at the Royal Holloway College at the University of London in Surry, proposed that the weather in the novel Emma corrosponds to the actual weather during the writing of the book. In the article Mr. Nisbet pointed out that Luke Howard, who had written "one of the founding texts of meteorology" (he was the one who gave clouds their names stratus, cumulus, nimbus, etc.) passed through the town of Chawton in July of 1813 and probably would have passed directly by the Austen household–perhaps even meeting Jane. If they did meet, or if she was aware of his work, then she could have become intrigued by the weather, and enough so to include close observations in her novel.
The snow on Christmas Eve and the apple orchard in bloom in mid-June (which is later than normal) square with the actual weather conditions in London as recorded in Howard's book The Climate of London.
The early Nineteenth Century was a time of great scientific discovery and interest, whether in weather, or the nature of electricity, or innumerable other diciplines. It does not seem difficult to imagine that Austen would have taken some lady-like interest in these areas. Other people, of course, find this theory far-fetched, but it does seem to fit in with the meticulousness of Jane Austen's observations.
Note 2: (glasses)
Glasses refers to the windows on the carriage.