WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT THE PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SNOWFLAKES
The dominant crystal type may affect the snow to liquid equivalent ratio (how fluffy the snow is).
- Unrimed Dendritic and plate crystals have a lacy structures that usually produce the highest snow to liquid ratios (best accumulators)
- The make-up of the cloud may affect the snow to liquid ratio. When there is abundant liquid water in cloud causing crystals to grow by riming, snow to liquid ratios are lower (may be 10 to 1 or lower)
Cloud physics effect how efficient the system is at producing snowflakes. Dendrites crystals grow fastest.
The size and composition of the snowflake may help determine how quickly it sticks on the ground when temperatures are marginal for snowfall accumulations.
- Large aggragates may take longer to melt than smaller single crystals.