Weather Flashback

June 2020 - Sparkling Snowfield (December 24, 2015)


This field at the Agassiz Audubon Society in Minnesota was sprinkled with dry, powdery snow that sparkled through dim afternoon sunlight. The dry, powdery snow formed and fell through bitterly cold air on the backside of a deepening Texas hooker-type low-pressure system. This Texas hooker-type low was proceeded pole-ward by an occluded Alberta clipper-type low overhead. The occluded Alberta clipper-type low's ascent and thermodynamic profiles offered a coating of heavier, wetter snow and sleet. This coating of heavier, wetter snow and sleet was soon sprinkled with smaller, more discretized dry snow ice crystals which are optimal for reflecting sunlight.

Plate 1. Sparkling Snowfield. Captured on December 24, 2015 at 3:29pm CST. Looking west from 48.15°, -96.64°.