Snow color

General Discussions: ASK John: Snow color

By wireburnguy on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 06:22 pm: Edit Post


Something I have noticed since we moved to the WUP is the color of the snow. Sometimes you can look at it and see a real intense blue, reflective color to it. It is hard to describe but very blue, crystal clear...sorta like the water in Lake Superior when you go out a couple miles.

I come from Lower Michigan, we had lake effect snow quite often and it never looked like this. It is not the sky reflection as I see it when it is cloudy too. I have heard others comment on it. Is this some quality from Lake Superior or something is it something else?

By admin on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 08:20 pm: Edit Post


Not really sure why this would be. Snow is snow really. I mean it is an ice crystal made from water vapor, so the source of the water vapor does not matter as any impurities would be left behind in the evaporation process.

Light is refracted and reflected by ice crystals and blue light will travel the furthest through snow, but that would only effect light penetrating into the snow at depth, not on the surface. So I cannot really come up with a reason why the snow surface would look any different up here than anywhere else.


By wireburnguy on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 08:47 pm: Edit Post

have you noticed what i am trying to describe?

thanks for taking a stab at it!

By snowfan470 on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 03:12 am: Edit Post

Oh,...JOHN, you said that any impurities would be left behind...does pollution and acid count? ...and does that mean that I could grab a handful of the snow and put it in my mouth without eating pollution? lol

By admin on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 11:51 am: Edit Post


The question was reguarding LES and there are no significant point sources for sulfides (acid precip formation) or other polutants in the Lake Superior Region. I suppose Thunder Bay may put a bit in the air, but nothing like the major metro areas of the eastern US. That is why I left it out of my analysis.

In addition. Most contaminates in rainfall are a result of the drop falling through the air and picking up the contamination. Ice is not as abt to absorb those contaminates as a liquid drop of water would be.

There are very few if any things that exist in nature that are 100% free of man made polutants, I guess it would be up to you to determine what is acceptable. I eat LES from Superior quite frequently though.


By snowdog on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 05:30 pm: Edit Post

Part of your regular diet eh John?

As long as it's white....=)

By the brother lives in your hometown of Park Ridge. Saw you were from there. Small world. I'm jelous. I would love to live up there. Looked into a MFG biz up in Newberry area but I the wife was not all that warm to the idea. I had already moved her from Rochester NY to the burbs of Chicago. Another move to that remote of an area was not going over too well at the time...but now that she has gone up a few times she kinda likes it. Maybe one day...

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