Weather Blog

Snowflakes take a ride on the Hood Canal

Snowflakes take a ride on the Hood Canal

We've seen some interesting weather video over the past few days, and here's another one to add to the collection, although this one presents quite the mystery.

This video was taken by Art Lee, who lives on the Hood Canal near the Bangor Sub Base, early Sunday morning during the heavy snow event.

What this shows are clumps of snow floating down the Hood Canal.


Here is how Lee described it:

"During outgoing tides there is often a rip current in front of our house. I was taking snow pictures when I looked out and saw what looked like ice flow on the water. On careful look it appeared to be patches of snow floating on the water (2-3 feet across). From the appearance I suspect the wind and current pushed the snow together. On the video you can see the flow. Most of the snow was just at the surface or partially submerged. The second half of the clip shows two bright white spots which I assume is a branch with snow sitting higher. About 30 minutes later the wind came up and the snow was quickly dispersed or sunk. I suspect it was a combination of very fast snow fall, wind, and current. Hood canal is 2 miles wide at my house and the snow was just 50 feet wide near the close shore."

About the only explanation I've come up with at the moment was that the snow was so intense and the flakes were so large, that the rate of the snow piling up on the water's surface was faster than the water could melt it. Otherwise, you'd think the snow would just melt in the warmer water.

Any physics majors want to help out here with an explanation? I'll post an update here if I get a better one :)

Update 2 p.m. Monday:

Received another photo of this from Joelle who lives above Dyes Inelt, also reporting this floating snow. In her photo, it's more widespread and not as bunched as Art's snow: