Category: "Snow Science"

Hoared Hail and Coraline Cups

December 31st, 2010
As far as I could tell, nobody had predicted hail last night, yet there it was on the ground, the largest hail I’ve ever seen here in the northwest. It fell on wet ground, freezing to the surface and then growing hoar columns, making the ground white… more »

More Tales of Mystery and Observation

December 1st, 2010
When I stepped out early Saturday morning, the air seemed relatively warm, particularly compared to the cold snap we had last week. Indeed, it was much warmer, and yet the parking lot in our apartment complex had a glaze that was much more dangerous… more »

The Window of Many Cacti

February 14th, 2010
It’s been two weeks since our last frost, and judging from my first dozen shots, it seemed like my photography skills dropped from mediocre to downright pathetic. But then I got a few good shots of frost on windows. The fact that I shoot windows on cars… more »

How to classify snow crystals

February 14th, 2010
According to Edward LaChapelle’s Field Guide to Snow Crystals (1969), the most widely used classification for falling ice is a system of 10 types from the International Commission on Snow and Ice, which came out in 1951. A few years later, ice… more »

I am a giant snow crystal, imperfect thing of habit, bouncing along life's gusts,...

February 6th, 2010
Some reviewers of The Story of Snow mistakenly call me the main author. I don't know why they make that mistake - Mark's role as the main author is clearly implied by his copyright  on the dedications page and elsewhere. My role was just to check the… more »

Ripples

February 5th, 2010
Ripples in still water When there is no pebble tossed Nor wind to blow - Grateful Dead “Ripple” I don’t know where to start on this one. For some time I’ve been seeing concentric circular patterns on car windshields and car bodies – bands of white… more »

Mystery of Whirlpool Hollows

February 3rd, 2010
I’ve seen this whirlpool pattern on two mornings on the same plastic side-mirrors of the same car. The hollow columnar crystals are oriented lengthwise along concentric circles, which strongly suggests that an underlying film froze with the same… more »

Eyes and Dry Moats

January 22nd, 2010
Though I appreciate seeing the old and familiar, when I venture outside on frosty mornings, I usually see at least three unexpected things. Three unexpected things before breakfast. A few days ago, the frost at first appeared more hoary than curvy, but… more »

The Maltese Cross in Pond Ice

January 21st, 2010
A few days after my encounter with the pawprints and grey muck, one of the ponds did freeze over. After me and my camera spent about 30 minutes admiring this rare event, I went and ruined the complete glaze job by punching a hole in it. Although the top… more »

Strange Pawprints in the Ice

January 15th, 2010
On account of the recent cold spell, I went up the hill behind us in search of a glazed-over pond. Ponds can have interesting freezing patterns and, if the ice is thick enough, a little excitement. I've never seen these ponds freeze, but then again,… more »