Our Northwest

Corn snow delights NW spring skiers

Thursday, March 31, 2016by  Jon Osterberg

Spokane’s Spokesman-Review reports that recent storms left Inland Northwest mountains “nicely fattened up” with snow for the home stretch of ski season.
     In particular, sunny days and sub-freezing nights have produced that rare and sought-after delight: corn snow.
     As a kid, I recall watching the Ski Nanny show on KING-5 and hearing host Bob Cram forecast corn snow in the Cascades. I always assumed corn snow fell out of the sky, like hail. Not so.
     Corn snow forms when the sun melts ski slopes, which refreeze overnight into granular masses. As the weather cycle continues, snow crystals are stripped of their “branches” and the melt water assimilates into frozen pellets that resemble corn kernels.
     Many skiers crave corn snow, but it’s elusive – in the course of a spring day, its lifespan lasts just a few hours as corn snow eventually softens into slush.
     Read the Spokesman-Review article, and hit the slopes while you can!

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