Category: "Snow Science"

Bending of branch and pond

February 11th, 2014
Bending bending bending                 The fir branches are bending                 They are waiting for more snow The famous Japanese poet Basho wrote a poem like the above, except it was about bamboo bending under the snow load. I was… more »

One hundred twenty one forms of falling ice: the new snow classification system

January 22nd, 2014
When I last wrote about the classification of falling snow and ice (02/14/2010), I discussed the 1966 Magono-Lee system. At the time, this system was the most recent one, and as such, the one generally used in meteorology. And to those who wondered how… more »

Rime falling from branches

January 24th, 2013
While riding my bike home the other day, I saw what appeared to be a patch of light snow. It was the only such patch around. Looking closer, I could see that it consisted not of snow, but of chunks of partly melted rime deposits. (Note how the pieces… more »

Crystal-to-crystal “communication” through vapor and heat

January 5th, 2013
Two mornings ago, I saw this on the windshield of a parked car. The bulls-eye pattern wasn’t centered on any particular feature on the windshield, and there were similar, though less developed, patterns nearby. See them on the photo below. The dark… more »

Trip of the Ice Man

November 9th, 2012
The "Ice Man" -- that's how a newspaper header referred to me after I gave a recent conference lecture: A link to the article is here:… more »

Finally got it!

February 8th, 2012
For a few years now, myself and another ice-researcher have been trying to get a research grant from the National Science Foundation to study snow. Well, we just recently heard that the funding came through and I’ll be starting on the project in March.… more »


February 1st, 2012
Hoar. It's just a white coating on things, so why does it make everything look more interesting? I saw this hoar coating on a plastic trash-can lid: The hoar frost on the lid had various whirls, just like I've seen on the plastic surfaces of car door… more »

Snow on a Freshly Frozen Pond

January 15th, 2012
Back when I was doing post-doctoral work in Boulder, Colorado, Charlie Knight, the head of my lab, introduced me to strange ice phenomena. The most memorable one happened after the weather had been sub-zero for a few days and then we got some snow. When… more »

The Six-fold Nature of Snow

March 15th, 2011
Some people have asked me why snow crystals have six corners. The answers I’ve seen in books and the Internet are incomplete at best. Here’s a more complete answer. (A pdf copy of this article is here.) How the crystal got its “six” It’s a cold winter’s… more »

Ice Forms on Slow-moving Water I: Caterpillars and Cellular Dendrites

January 15th, 2011
During my last winter in Japan (2009-2010), I would walk around a neighborhood park on frosty mornings, looking for interesting ice forms. It was in this park that I found one rock (only one!) that on some mornings would sprout hair-like ice, arising… more »