Posted: Dec 11, 2013 6:52 PM by Pat Shingleton
One of the "best" snow events in our area occurred on this date in 2008 as snowfall depths ranged from three to eight inches. Two other snow events have occurred at this same time over the last five years. As noted in a previous column, stages of snow begin eight miles above the earth when water vapor condenses and liquefies. As the droplets grow, ice crystals form around tiny particles floating in the atmosphere. The third stage identifies snow crystals depicting a six-sided molecular structure and depending upon atmospheric temperatures they take on different forms as plates, needles, dendrites and hollow columns as additional water vapor condenses onto the crystals and enlarge. Weight causes them to fall into warmer air forming flakes.