Ice columns: How do they form?

Weather is giving us lots of lessons today in London. Now, it’s snowing ice columns. Such ice crystals can form at ~ -5°C primarily or secondarily. They can form primarily in a heterogeneous way, when ice forms around an ice nucleus (usually organic or mineral particles) or secondarily when ice crystals are rimed being in a ‘wet’ environment in the cloud. In the latter mechanism the liquid droplets contacting the ice freeze and under specific circumstances break into pieces (splintering), creating more ice crystals through the Hallett-Mossop process. In any case, watching different types of crystals (ice habits) you can understand in which region of the cloud (depending on the surface temperature) the ice crystals come from. HERE you can see how ice dendrites and stellars can form.

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