In a mildly festive episode of Mostly Weather, Met Office podcasters Claire Witham, Doug McNeall (@dougnmcneall) and Niall Robinson (@NiallRobinson) are joined by cloud observations expert Phil Brown - to discuss the topic of snow.
The team first get down to the nitty-gritty questions that matter - what are the conditions needed to create snow? How does a raindrop turn into a snowflake? They then take a walk through the Bergeron process, eventually navigating their way on to thunder snow, lake effect snow and how you can still see snow in tropical places.
Moving on from there, they get into such varied topics as the incredible insulating properties of snow and the world record breaking largest ever snowball fight. Once again the podcast is graced by Catherine from the Met Office archives, who provides a slight change of pace with some snow based literary treats.
Next up they touch on the albedo effect, before moving on to a good old fashioned 'fact-off' - with such gems as the largest ever snowflake, the history of the notorious 'wrong type of snow', white Christmases and the incredible claim that you can use snow as a time machine!
This diagram shows how the crystal "habit" - basically the crystal shape - changes as a function of temperature and relative humidity. This describes the initial crystal habit - as crystals fall into a region of different temperature and/or humidity they can adopt the habit appropriate to the new regime, leading to more complex shapes.
Watch Dr. Richard Alley, Professor of Geosciences at the Pennsylvania State University (PSU)), as he takes you on a musical review of subduction and the Pacific Ring of Fire. Also, take a minute to check on the accuracy of Doug's impression.
Last updated: 21 December 2015