Interesting Snow (And Lots Of It!)

2015-04-07 21:17:48.000 – Adam Freierman, Summit Intern

 

What a weekend! Above freezing temperatures and warm wet fog really decimated our snowpack on Friday. The summit cone was showing more sedge than snow and the cols and peaks along the ridgeline were looking pretty rocky. Things quickly got wintery again on the rockpile, however, as we’ve picked up 22“ of snow since Saturday and our snowpack is now deeper than it been for most of the winter. This snowfall has been a bit different than most we have seen this winter as well. Slightly warmer temperatures and relatively light winds mean that instead of watching this snow blow away in giant plumes, it has drifted considerably on the summit. Of course this made for quite a day of shoveling…but what better way to enjoy the sunshine.

 
 

With varying temperatures throughout the weekend we also saw a great variety of snowflake types. Along with the dendrites and needles we collected rimed crystals, spatial dendrites, and these beautiful capped columns that Kyle caught yesterday afternoon.

 
 

These crystals start by forming as hexagonal columns or prisms, which is a simple and common snowflake geometry. They are then blown into a part of the cloud which is at a different temperature and crystal growth transitions to plates, which grow on each end of the column resulting in a spool-like capped column.

 

Adam Freierman, Summit Intern

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