Posted at 11:10 AM on December 17, 2008
by Craig Edwards
Looks like the wintry weather will be with us through the rest of December. Not much hope for a moderation that leads to a thaw. Good news for those into winter recreation, you're in for some wonderful conditions.
The next system we have our eyes on appears to favor southeast Minnesota and southern WIsconsin for accumulating snow Thursday night and Friday. Although, much of the state will get at least some snow between 7pm Thursday and Friday afternoon.
A more potent storm system may have our name on it come Saturday. If you still need to make a trip to the mall for Christmas shopping, this afternoon through Thursday afternoon have little weather woes to contend with. Bring your sun glasses.
What a lovely sparkle to the magical snowflakes blanketing the region this morning!
Posted at 4:09 PM on December 17, 2008
by Paul Huttner
Simple stars and stellar dendrites sparkle in the sunlight on a fence rail at the Huttner Weather Lab
They say no two snowflakes are alike.
That's probably true, but there are many similar categories of nature's beautiful winter creations. All snow crystals do have 6 sides. But there are many different crystal types that form depending on moisture and temperatures in the specific environment where they grow.
I'm not an expert in identifying snow crystal types, but I took a magnifying glass and a field identification guide out today and took a closer look at the sparkles in the snow outside the Weather Lab. Here are three varieties I think I found.
-Radiating hexagonal plates
One of my favorite books is "The Snowflake: Winter's Secret Beauty" by Dr. Kenneth Libbrecht of Cal Tech. Dr Libbrecht has done excellent work collecting, creating, and categorizing snow crystals.
Enjoy the magic of winter as it sparkles outside on the landscape. Looking at the weather maps these days, there is plenty more "magic" on the way to enjoy!