Category: "Photos"

A rare heliac arc? (plus six others)

February 5th, 2019
The day starts sunny and bright, but later you note a slight muting of the surrounding landscape. It is still bright enough, but you feel less heat bearing down. Apparently, a thin veil of high clouds has slowly and silently appeared above. When this… more »

Columns!

January 18th, 2017
The poor columns get left out of nearly all snow-crystal discussions, but they are an interesting type. So, to help them out a bit, here's my first column appreciation post.  Let's start with perhaps the most extreme column of all, the Shimizu prism*:… more »

More frost patterns on black cars

January 7th, 2017
Black cars remain my favorite place to observe frost patterns. Here are a few I saw on one car today.   [image:46] The straight lines of frost are more common when it is drier. And it has been quite dry here due to the very low temperatures.  [image:50]… more »

Akira's Corner Pockets

May 10th, 2016
The evanescent snow crystal appears out of nowhere The lines and boundaries on its faces tell a story a story of its birth and life But before it all vanishes does anyone hear the story?   A few years back, a correspondent of mine, Professor Akira… more »

It’s not a rainbow (it’s better)

August 12th, 2014
In summer, the sun reaches higher elevations, bringing the possibility of new atmospheric displays. I saw this one in mid-June. The top, upward arc is the more familiar and common 22-degree halo. But pay attention to the one on the bottom. Its colors… more »

Halo in the sky? Uh, I don't see no halo...

April 20th, 2014
After a few days of fine bright spring weather, the barometer falls and a south wind begins to blow. High clouds, fragile and feathery, rise out of the west, the sky gradually becomes milky white, made opalescent by veils of cirro-stratus. The sun seems… more »

The fun of shooting down your own theories

April 10th, 2014
Thomas H. Huxley once wrote the famous line: The great tragedy of Science: the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. Great man and a catchy phrase, but perhaps he was being a bit overdramatic. To me, the slaying of a “hypothesis” (i.e., pet… more »

Equinox frost I: Patterns on roof, hood, window, and mirror

March 24th, 2014
Morning on the spring equinox, the first day of spring, brought a few gifts from winter. I) Film-frost, accentuated with hoar-frost on the cars. See the white of the hoar, following a pattern set down by the thin layer of film-frost. The roof of one… more »

The cup and the butterfly

February 25th, 2014
In early January, while visiting a cold, dry region, I saw this frost on a wooden fencepost. The pattern resembled a cluster of butterflies. In the shade, these "butterflies" were blue, reflecting the blue sky. In the sun, they were bright white: These… more »

Raindrops on ice

February 23rd, 2014
When water droplets land on ice, what happens? If the ice is at least several degrees below zero (celcius), the drops freeze quickly, and build up a whitish, bumpy surface. When the ice surface is heated to melting, the droplets vanish into the melt.… more »