Boots crouching on the trail waiting for a distant dog. 180o panorama of red maples/white pines with clear pattern of snow accumulation (Centennial Woods, Burlington)

Tracking the wind

While out after the snowstorm I was struck by the pattern of snow accumulation on the trees. This pattern doesn’t happen all that often, but when it does it’s so beautiful. I love spinning around and going from seeing a soft, white world, to a starkly contrasting white/dark world. The leeward side of trees  remains bare, while the windward sides of the trunks of trees accumulates snow. So the snow points the direction from which the wind was blowing. In this case, it was a northerly wind (the wind was blowing out of the north to the south).

This pattern tends to happen when the snow comes with a sustained, steady wind and temperatures hover around freezing. Colder weather means dry snow, which doesn’t allow for the snow to stick as well, and if the wind shifts directions it can knock the snow that’s accumulated off of the trunk of the tree.

Wind facing side of trees after snow storm (Centennial Woods, Burlington)

Same location as above, just facing the opposite direction (looking to the north). Sheltered side of trees after snow storm (Centennial Woods, Burlington)

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