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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published December 27 2013

Weather Talk: Snow flurries can come and go for days at a time

Sometimes in winter, our region will get persistent snow flurries. It is not unusual for flurries to come and go for days at a time when conditions are right.

There is no summer equivalent of this because snowflakes grow differently from raindrops. Specifically, snowflakes grow more easily. In particular, when conditions in the clouds are just right – humid with a temperature around 5 to 15 degrees – snowflakes grow almost spontaneously, without any need for a storm system or low pressure. All they need is a slight rising motion in the atmosphere, and flakes will form. When they are heavy enough, they fall.

These flurries are not easy to forecast, but they can result in measurable snow. Sometimes an inch or 2 of fluffy, airy, big-flake snow will fall over the course of a day under the right conditions.

On occasion, there can even be a bluish hue in the sky as the flakes are falling. When this happens, the snow is actually falling from the sky without there even being a cloud at all. The ice crystals are forming rapidly and falling before a cloud is even present.

Have a weather question you’d like answered? Email weather@wday.com,

or write to WDAY Stormtracker, WDAY-TV, Box 2466, Fargo, ND 58108

Read the blog at http://stormtrack.areavoices.com/.