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Snow on Mission Street!

  |   The Mission   |   9 Comments

Snow on Mission Street, San Francisco!

This stuff fell from the sky just a few minutes ago and I’m calling it snow.

You think I’m wrong, but try walking up the stairs from 16th/Mission BART while water is cascading back down, stepping carefully over a whitened sidewalk, and checking the wonder on kids’ faces – and then pay heed to this “distinction”:

Hail and snow are formed by different processes and thus look quite
different, although both are composed of ice.

Snowflakes are composed of single or conglomerated ice
crystals, whereas hail is a ball of ice.

Snowflakes form when an ice crystal grows in very cold air
at the expense of surrounding water vapor.
By the way, there are many other shapes of ice crystals
(platelets, columns, etc.) that can form in a similar way,
but under different atmospheric conditions.

Hail usually starts as a frozen drop of water on a soil or
pollutant particle. The frozen drop is repeatedly carried aloft
and dropped by strong updrafts and down-drafts in a thunderstorm.
As the hailstone rises and falls, super-cooled water droplets
freeze to its surface, enlarging it.

Both snowflakes and hail drop from the clouds where they formed
when they become too heavy for the upward atmospheric motions
in the clouds to support them.

Did I mentioned it snowed on Mission Street just now?

9 Comments
  • Ray | Mar 8, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Nothing in your quoted text seems to obviously justify your conclusion. Could you clarify?

    Also, did you look at the balls of ice with your eyes?

  • pablo/beaner | Mar 8, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    this is so wrong. the only time we had snow in sf my entire life there was at candlestick and that was only because we expected hell to freeze over once the giants started being a championship team. joke was on us when it happened during a 49ers game.

  • Mission Mistaken Again | Mar 8, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    How nice, an impressionistic weather report devoid of facts, but laden with emotional honesty. After all, it can’t be hail; just look at the childrens’ faces!

  • Ruth Temple | Mar 8, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    I’ll buy that as having fallen as snow; we definitely had (bouncing) hail in San Carlos / Redwood City around the same time this afternoon. In the lexicon of the 26 or more words Minnesotans (if you don’t like the weather wait five minutes) have for snow, what’s on the ground in that pic would qualify as slush at this point.
    Not having had to walk or bike in it, I’m as entranced as the little one there.

  • Alan | Mar 8, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    The heck with the white stuff, who’s the cute guy???

  • Jeff Diehl | Mar 8, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    i want to believe.

  • Ava | Mar 8, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    errors/corrections: It’s probably hail, fact check, there are at least four errors in this post.

  • Jeff Diehl | Mar 8, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    you say “errors,” i say “whonk!”

  • Vince Quackenbush | Mar 9, 2010 at 4:01 am

    I didna come to San Francisco from upstate NY to experience this shit! Begone!