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Snowflake from St. Lawrence Campus 02/07/2018

Posted by Alex Avolio,
North Country explorer from Canton, NY
February 7, 2018

This snowflake (2018.02.07g) was collected on Feb. 07, 2018 at 3:00pm. Using Magano and Lee (1966), this snowflake is classified as a Crystal with Broad Branches (P1c). The growth of this snowcrystal (and its resultant morphology) was controlled by weather conditions during its decent in the atmosphere. The following atmospheric conditions are recorded by this snowcrystal: a) the morphology which exhibits a hexagonal crystal form with plated ends, b) thermal limits of this snowflake which show that it was formed between -9 and -13oC, and c) temperature/humidity conditions which show that the flake formed just below the water saturation point at approximately -13oC. Basically, this snowcrystal records the chaotic series of events from deposition of water vapor on a nucleus (e.g., dust particle) to collection. As a result of these specific conditions, this flake formed fairly slowly below the water saturation point. This resulted in substantial mass being added in each of the branches and the distinct morphology referred to as a “crystal with broad branches”.

Magano, C. and Lee, C.W., 1966, Meterological classification of natural snowcrystals: Journal of the Faculty of Science, Hokkaido University. Series 7, Geophysics, 2(4): 321-335.