Second Annual AMS Student Conference


Analysis of Snowflake Types and the Atmospheric Conditions that Produce Them


Justin J. Liles, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN; and D. T. Hansen

Analysis of Snowflake Types and the Atmospheric Conditions that Produce Them


Manual observations and atmospheric soundings were used to study snow crystal types that were collected at the surface. This was done to help determine where snow crystals take on their identity within the cloud. The study was conducted during the winter of 2001-2002 in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Snowflakes preserved at the surface were carefully analyzed and compared to a laboratory study done by Nakaya (1954). The conducted laboratory experiment was done for mainly two reasons. One reason is crystal type formation and the second is the estimated height at which these crystals formed in the cloud producing the snow. This paper will try to show that observations done naturally are consistent with those done in the artificial lab experiment. In both the natural and laboratory experiments initial crystal growth formation seemed to take place in the lower saturated layer of the cloud. The maximum growth of the crystal was found to be in the upper saturated portion of the cloud. The layer where most of the crystals seemed to be forming was in the 600mb to 750mb layer. The 2001-2002 winter was extremely warm and most of the crystals observed at the surface were dendrites.

Poster Session 2, Weather/Forecasting
Sunday, 9 February 2003, 5:30 PM-7:30 PM

Previous paper  Next paper

Browse or search entire meeting

AMS Home Page