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 »


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 »

How clouds form snow

January 14th, 2017
To understand snow formation, one must know a little about clouds.  Q: What is in a cloud? A: Air, dust, vapor, droplets, and often, ice.  Q: How much air? How much liquid water? How much ice? A: The answers will probably surprise you. See my short… 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 »

Snow Science: an annotated list to topics

December 17th, 2016
For those interested in the science of snow, I give an annotated list of relevant blog links.   [image:45]   I) Seminar about snow science (sequence of four videos): II) All the different types… more »