I hear quite a bit about cloud seeding and the precipitation end result, and it just got me thinking: Are there any differences in the look between a Mother Nature snowflake and ones that we make? Just so someone might be able to tell them apart?
— No name given
In examining the Frankenflakes that come from cloud seeding, it's clear that run-of-the-mill storm clouds produce more beautiful designs.
Our friends at the National Weather Service tell us seeded snowflakes almost have a cheap assembly line quality to them. They almost look like shavings.
"The flakes are smaller than natural snowflakes," said meteorologist Shad Keene. "And they're needle-shaped versus typical flower-looking flakes that kids draw in school and things like that."
Now, Keene assured us they still are ice crystals. But as far as beautiful, unique snowflakes are concerned, these aren't very unique.
"Typical snowflakes have lots of time to grow, whereas these needle-shaped flakes that we see ... it just hasn't had time to grow into the more ornate, dendritic shapes that we typically think of," Keene said.
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