Identical Snowflakes

March 27, 2012

One of the magical mysteries of weather I learned from my father was that no two snowflakes are alike. His weather lesson was intended to make me feel special, unique–and they did. I was his little snowflake. I have no doubt that many parents use the snowflake theory to help their children understand that they are special.

Sadly, Colorado weather researcher Nancy C. Knight of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado believes the snowflake theory may be wrong, and she has the photographic evidence to support her claim. According to a June 15, 1988 article in the Milwaukee Journal, Knight collected and photographed identical twin snowflakes during a research flight over Wisconsin in 1988. The snowflakes were shaped like columns with a holhrough the center.  The snowflakes were picked up during an investigation into high altitude cirrus clouds. The National Center for Atmospheric Research, located in Boulder, Colorado, is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

Photo by Michelle Levine

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