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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snowbow! Or Rather Snow Halo!

We have a lot of snow here...and more is coming. When people say Ohio, they think midwest and they think a lot of snow. However, in south west Ohio, we don't get so much as we're about 3 hours from the Great Lakes. However, we were the originators of the storm which blanketed DC and the mid-Atlantic states. The moist air from the Gulf came up and met the cold air coming down from Canada...and that point of hitting is usually at about the intersection of Interstates 75 and 70...about 10 miles from our house. Anything north of I 70 gets a lot more snow than south of I-70.

For the last four days, my daughter has been out of school. I have about 2 feet of undrifted snow in my fenced in back yard. The drifts in the front are fairly prodigious. Because we are so flat and so much of the area is farmland, drifting on north-south roads causes problems.

One thing I like about living here is being able to watch the ever-changing horizon and sky. On the way home from my weekly quilting gathering, imagine my pleasure when I saw a snowbow. It isn't a very good picture I'm afraid, as I had to get to a place where I could safely stop the car, and by that time, it had faded a bit, and certainly the Church of the Nazarene wasn't exactly the most photogenic of buildings (its a modern cinder block constructed church without a lot of grace or elegance...purely functional).

Snowbows are winter rainbows. They form just as rainbows do, light is reflected off ice crystals in the air. You don't see them too often though and that's why I was so pleased to get this one for you. NOTE: Ok...so snowbows is what we always called them....I double checked and discovered that they are actually called "snow halos" and are seen when you are facing the sun. Rainbows reflect light off the rounded water droplets and usually have the sun BEHIND you when you're facing the rainbow... Sheesh. Whoda thunk? Here's more on Snowbows and Snow halos

This is what our driveway looked like on Saturday morning....before we got an additional dump of about 8" to 10" of snow.

It was fairly treacherous as it stared as sleet and very wet, slushy snow, then the temperatures dropped. The wet snow clung to the trees and then froze, creating wonderful diamonds and permanent snow cover on the trees. Usually in this area, the snow is very dry as it is cold and the air is dry. We laugh as we often just have to sweep the snow off our driveways rather than use the snow blowers.








A shrub in my back yard with icy jewels.



















A silver maple which is truly silver on our neighbor to the west's property.

5 comments:

Vivien said...

A snowbow -- that's what it's called! I love it when I see these in the sky, but didn't have a clue what to call it.

Glad to see you're all snug after the snow. We emerged just fine from our recent blizzard. I haven't taken any snow pics because I have a new camera and I keep messing up :( so I'm going to enjoy yours. :)

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

What we can learn from reading other's blog. I never knew about a snowbow.
Your pictures are beautiful!
We have had a lot more snow here in Mid-Missouri this year with extreme cold. It's snowing as I type. Good sewing weather.

Michigoose said...

OK, so I sort of misled you. Vivien, your comment made me wonder if the "snowbow" appellation was something my family did....and when I googled it, I found that indeed that was the case. Technically, these are SNOW HALOS! I edited my post so that it reflects the correct information.

The other item about it is that snow halos don't form the arch, but make a circle....it is, however, the sun reflecting off the snow crystals.

We're supposed to have more snow on Sunday. It will make some tough going for my monumental birthday on Monday.....

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa,
Jean in CT here. I've always called these "SUN DOGS" and was told by my Dad when I was young, that there is usually another on the opposite side of the sun. Also that it was an indicator of more snow to come. Enjoy your blog.

Michigoose said...

Hi Jean! When I was growing up, we refered to the bright spots which appeared as second suns as sun dogs...to one side or the other or both when then sun was low in the sky.

Take a look at this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_dog

Glad to see you around! Lisa