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16 votes
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Why snow is white?

Normal ice (as in refrigerated ice cubes) mostly has uniform crystalline structure - water molecules are in a perfect hexagonal grid, which enables it to be transparent. Not all ice is like that - ...
Jack White's user avatar
15 votes

Why snow is white?

Snow has a very high albedo. Actually, it reflects all wavelengths of the visible spectrum, whilst absorbing no particular wavelength. Hence the eye averages out the multiple reflected wavelengths as '...
Gordon Stanger's user avatar
12 votes
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What is the name of this landform?

This is a large glacier calving event. Calving occur at the front of the glacier, probably a very wet (and likely warm based) glacier where a considerable amount of water is flowing out of the system (...
marsisalie's user avatar
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11 votes
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Snowing when the actual temperature is around $\small\sf9^o$ Celsius

The clouds in which snow originates must of course be below the freezing point 0°C = 32°F. Two factors allow snow to reach the surface when the near-ground air temperature is above freezing. The ...
Jack Denur's user avatar
9 votes

Temperature rise when snowing

Snow fall can occur under several conditions. In this I am assuming conditions typical for mid to high latitudes. Association with cold-warm fronts are probably most common. Snow fall in mountainous ...
Peter Jansson's user avatar
8 votes
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How much of arctic ice is from snow fall versus frozen sea water?

I'm assuming this question is asking about the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean as opposed to ice caps such as that over Greenland. The sea ice on the Arctic Ocean is predominantly (overwhelmingly!) frozen ...
David Hammen's user avatar
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8 votes
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Why is the snow line higher in the Himalayas than on the equator?

The permanent snow line is controlled by summer insolation, and during the summer the insolation is higher at 30°N than at the equator. See this figure from Fundamentals of Physical Geography (...
Jean-Marie Prival's user avatar
6 votes
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How does salting roads help prevent ice?

Sodium chloride rock salt, NaCl, is usually used for de-icing roads. As mentioned in another answer, the dissolved ions lower the freezing point of water. Other kinds of salt are also used. Calcium ...
haresfur's user avatar
  • 4,419
5 votes

Why can't radar's decibel scale be used to determine the intensity of snowfall?

Snow, unlike rain, has holes as well as different refractive properties. This allows the radar beam to penetrate and reflect the beam differently than an ordinarily oblate rain drop.
BarocliniCplusplus's user avatar
5 votes
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Snow on a relatively warm day

Not being a winter precipitation expert by any stretch (we avoid such silliness in Florida!), I think a significant key may be the "the humidity is low (40%)" part. When winter precipitation ...
JeopardyTempest's user avatar
5 votes

Differences between lake effect and ocean effect snow

Well, for one is the salination. The salt in oceans lowers the vapor pressure, lowering the evaporation rates (i.e. the salinated water is hindered from evaporating). Another is the amount of fetch. ...
BarocliniCplusplus's user avatar
4 votes

Why can't radar's decibel scale be used to determine the intensity of snowfall?

The returned energy which is measured by the radar is given by the so-called "radar equation" which states that: $P_r=\frac{CK_w^2}{r^2}\sum_{i=1}^Nn_iD_i^6$ Here $C$ is "just" ...
Whir's user avatar
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4 votes
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Had the climatologists predicted climate change as the deviations to both extremely cold and hot temperatures before?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change summarizes the state of scientific understanding of climate change every few years and at least as far back as 2002 has projected a range of changes in ...
jeffronicus's user avatar
  • 3,487
4 votes

Is there a minimum snow depth to be considered as presence of snow?

A measureable amount of precipitation is considered to be at least 0.01 inch of water. Since on the average 10 inches of snow melt to 1 inch of water, this corresponds on the average to 0.1 inch of ...
Jack Denur's user avatar
4 votes
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colder after snow

I think you're mixing two things together. There are generally 2 processes that correlate low temperatures during and after a snowfall, but they are separated. These are both based on physical laws ...
Droid's user avatar
  • 421
3 votes

Antarctica Exploration

What would you have an Antarctic rover do? How would you protect it from falling down a crevasse, some of which are totally obscured? What would you like to be found in Antarctica? Yes, Antarctica is ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 24.7k
3 votes
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Can I use radar data to estimate snowfall, or is there a better way?

Full disclosure: Being in Florida, I don't spend as much time watching winter weather, and don't have great experience correlating radar precipitation totals to actual snowfall. Is it spring yet? ...
JeopardyTempest's user avatar
3 votes
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What is the better way to deal the missing and negative cells of satellite snow cover data

You could fill the gaps with the analysis products of numerical weather prediction. NCAR for example (RDA UCAR) hosts the NCEP North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) with data from 1979 to 2018 ...
Lukas's user avatar
  • 438
3 votes

'River-effect' snow

This effect seems to be similar to the "lake effect snow". The main difference between those two effects is the body of water involved hence the difference in name. In rather general terms: The cold ...
cloud_watcher's user avatar
3 votes
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Is there a maximum size for a single snowflake?

According to Caltech physics professor Kenneth G. Libbrecht's site SnowCrystals.com This monster is, to my knowledge, the largest snow crystal ever photographed. It measures 10.1 mm (0.4 inches) ...
Keith McClary's user avatar
3 votes

Temperature rise when snowing

Addressing your hypotheses in order, I'll start with (1) cloud cover. Here you can differentiate firstly between day and night time. While during the day, clouds will reduce heating of the ground by ...
Florian's user avatar
  • 89
3 votes

Is snow less likely to appear at a coastal area?

I don't know if someone has conducted statistical research on this. It certainly depends on the situation. Here are some situations: More snow in coast Like @gerrit commented, elevation increases ...
Communisty's user avatar
  • 1,064
3 votes

Why do snowflakes form into hexagonal structures?

The question asked is "why do snowflakes form into hexagonal structures". I see snowflakes as following the framework of a flattened cuboctahedron.
Alistair Riddoch's user avatar
3 votes
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How to extract lat-lon from MOD10C2 hdf data in matlab?

The latitude and longitude of each pixel is not stored in the HDF file. But using metadata=hdfinfo('file_name.hdf'); You can get the info to generate those latitudes and longitudes. In metadata....
Camilo Rada's user avatar
  • 17.7k
3 votes

Snow on a relatively warm day

In short: You may think about hail and the smaller grains of graupel like super cooled frozen bits of solid water ice which fall this fast to the earth's surface that there is not enough time to reach ...
Buttonwood's user avatar
3 votes
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What is 0 degree isotherm and how to calculate it?

I'm not sure, whether there is more to this question, but the 0-degree isotherm is simply the set of height values for each point in the 2D domain (earth's surface) at which a value of 0 degrees is ...
hschoell's user avatar
  • 380
3 votes

colder after snow

The aftermath of a snowfall can also cause a cooling near the surface, if an air mass moves in that's warm enough to melt the snow. The snow indeed starts to melt, thereby absorbing the latent heat ...
Oscar Lanzi's user avatar
  • 3,926
2 votes

What is the steepest surface that can hold snow?

The angle of 32° for the lower bound angle given in the answer by @Pytrik reminded me of the "typical" angle of repose for most materials, particularly soil and rock. The angle of repose is ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 24.7k
2 votes
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How can we predict if it's raining, drizzling or there is snow fall by using precipitation intensity (inches/hour)?

TL;DR: When reporting precipitation types, we still have to manually look out the window. TL;SR: You do not mention how the information is gathered, so I will go over the different ways. The first ...
traisjames's user avatar

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