Saw this on the way to work this morning. It did occur to me to stop recording and hold the ladder for the guy doing the heavy work in this maneuver, but you know, I didn’t want to get in the way or anything.
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?
I appreciate the attempt to prepare us for The Big One when the cell towers go down and the only thing left will be Morse Code. But I failed out of Cub Scouts and I can promise you I will never learn this.
Captured here in high summer, the sprites of San Carlos alley begin to emerge in late spring, just off 19th Street. These photonic flowers only bloom in the afternoon when the sun reflects mysteriously off some top-floor windows.
So keep an eye out for these special visitors when winter ends.