Tag Archives: Ice

Is Dane County wind affected by Lake Superior ice?

A reader wondered whether his perception that it has become windier in southern Wisconsin over the past couple of decades has anything to do with the shorter Lake Superior ice season during the same time. Continue reading

Category: Climate
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How do snowflakes grow?

A snowflake can be an individual ice crystal or an aggregate of ice crystals. Ice crystals can grow by water vapor deposition on the crystal or by collisions with other cloud particles.

An ice crystal can grow if the air around it has a relative humidity near 100 percent. The ice particle grows by water vapor deposition. Growth by deposition is generally slow. If you find nicely shaped snowflakes, they likely were produced by vapor deposition. Continue reading

Category: Phenomena
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Why do Bridges Ice before the Road?

Living in a cold climate, we are used to seeing signs that say “bridge freezes before road.” The fundamental reason is that a bridge hangs above the ground, while the roadway rests on the ground. Water on a road or bridge will freeze once the surface becomes colder enough. So, the road must cool faster than the roadway. Continue reading

Category: Weather Dangers
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What is Diamond Dust?

Diamond dust is a cloud composed of tiny ice crystals that forms near the ground. It is often reported under clear sky conditions and so is also known as ‘clear-sky precipitation.’

The formation of diamond dust requires . . . Continue reading

Category: Phenomena
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