Bad Snow

November 28th, 2017
This post is about the misrepresenting of snow crystals in public, not about misbehaving crystals and not about snow that has gotten dirty. No doubt you've seen it, the Christmas card with four-pointed "snow" falling, or the sweater with an… more »

That Snow Joke

November 17th, 2017
A variation on a joke I heard from the UK Laugh Lab, customized for you snow-blog readers: -------------- Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson go snow camping. After a day snowshoeing around the forest, they return to their camp, have some wine, and crawl into… more »

Grain boundaries between crystals in big ice

November 6th, 2017
Most snow crystals are single crystals. Being single is an outcome of their growth process and small size. On the other hand, most larger ice formations are not single crystals. These latter types are called "polycrystals". A polycrystal usually appears… more »

Sheet icicles

November 6th, 2017
On a bitter cold day in 2013, I was at a familiar cliff, climbing under a large rock ceiling. A little water had been seeping down through the crack above, forming an ice-filled crack that I had to dig out with my hammer to proceed. In a few spots, the… more »

The "Snow Candle"

November 6th, 2017
If you go about 50-km northwest of Sapporo, Japan, aiming to stay on the coast, you will land in the port city of Otaru. Like Sapporo and the rest of Hokkaido, this is snow and ice country. Here in Otaru, they have a "snow candle" festival every winter.… more »

A Fogbow

October 25th, 2017
A fogbow, or cloudbow (fog is a type of cloud), is a special type of rainbow. It is just white, and so not as often photographed as the full-spectrum rainbow, but it can be exciting to see nevertheless. [image:72] The reason the fogbow is white is… more »

New paperback edition out, Sept. 2017

October 25th, 2017
After eight years, several translated editions, a teacher's guide, and a Scholastic edition, The Story of Snow had a paperback edition, also from Chronicle books. The size is the same, and the content is the same except for one thing. This version lists… more »

Concentric Film Frost

October 25th, 2017
October 16, 2017, the first frost of the 2017-18 winter as far as I know. Frost in Eastern Washington anyway, those of us on the west side of the Cascade Mts have not gotten any yet. Marc Fairbanks, an avid nature observer from the mountains near Cle… more »

A complete picture book of all (known) snow types

February 24th, 2017
Prof. Katsuhiro Kikuchi, a highly regarded ice and snow researcher from Hokkaido, Japan, kindly mailed me a copy of his wonderful new book (coauthored with Dr. Masahiro Kajikawa). Never before has there been anything nearly as complete as this book in… 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 »