Significant snowflakes

February 6, 2017

They peered through microscopes at snowflakes on slides, the six-sided patterns softening as they melted. These are not fluffy, the students noted, squinting down at the barbs in the ice crystals.

The professor put up a photograph of a high wall of snow carved along a road in the Sierras. Individually, he said, these may not be very effective, but when combined together, when millions layer upon millions, they can be quite significant.

The storm is coming, said a student in the front row.

A student in the back row replied, It’s already here.

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