Archives for: "February 2022"

Avalanches, Part 1: Snow Hardening

February 25th, 2022
Why does snow seem to harden after an avalanche? Those unfortunate few who have been buried in an avalanche often observe the snow, once stopped, has hardened. Some liken it to concrete. Whereas the powder before the avalanche seemed light and easy to… more »

Ice Classification System of Bentley

February 24th, 2022
Ice Classification System of Bentley
[This is the fifth in the series of re-posted articles, from 2010.] The most comprehensive study of frost and small ice formations was published way back in 1907 by Wilson A. Bentley. His article was split into five successive issues of the Monthly… more »

Snow Crystal Variety and the Bentley Length Scale in Clouds

February 22nd, 2022
[This is the fourth of the re-posted articles, from 2009.] “… by means of these wonderfully delicate and exquisite figures, much may be learned of the history of each crystal and the changes through which it has passed in its journey through cloudland.”… more »

Parting and Bending of Hair Ice

February 22nd, 2022
Hair ice often shows a clear "parting". By part, I refer to that line along the underlying log surface, either side of which the hair tilts further to the side, analogous to the part one makes in one's own hair with a comb. An explanation for the cause… more »

The Jericho Farmer and the Electric Crystals

February 22nd, 2022
[This is the third of the re-posted articles, from 2008.] For most of his life, and while not attending to farm duties, Wilson A. Bentley was captivated by the beauty of snow crystals. Perhaps then it should not be too surprising that he pondered the… more »

Musings on Bentley’s ‘no two alike’

February 22nd, 2022
[This is the second of the re-posted articles, from 2007.] Wilson Bentley is famous for his phrase ’no two alike’, but what did he really mean by it? Excerpts in Duncan Blanchard’s book suggest that Bentley was usually referring to only the crystals he… more »

The Snowflake’s Closest of Kin

February 21st, 2022
[From 2006 through 2012, I contributed annual articles to the annual newsletter "Snow Crystals" for the Wilson Bentley Historical Society. That newsletter is no longer available, so I will repost my articles here, starting with this one from 2006.]… more »

Hole in Cloud

February 20th, 2022
A region of thin, high cloud becomes ice, making a hole. That is what happened in the picture below. See the blue hole over the mountain? It may not be circular, but it clearly is a gap where once had been cloud. If you look at that cloud, you might not… more »

Bright Tangent Arc After Sundown

February 20th, 2022
Walking the dog in the evening last May, I saw this bright spot in the sky. The sun had just set and quite a few folks had also noticed it.     I had never seen an optical display after sundown, yet could never think of a reason for this. Indeed, there… more »

Odd Radius Haloes and Pyramidal Crystal Faces

February 19th, 2022
Out walking one day last spring, I sensed a subdued illumination--like a thin veil of cloud had drifted in front of the sun. I looked up, and indeed found that there was. Blocking out the sun with my hand, I surveyed the thin veil and saw a strange… more »