Term: Ice crystals Class:  
 vernacular   (0%)
Created 6 June 2017
Last modified 6 June 2017
Contributed by GCW Glossary


Definition: Precipitation in the form of slowly falling, singular or unbranched ice needles, columns, or plates. They make up cirriform clouds, frost, and ice fog. Also, they produce optical phenomena such as halos, coronas, and sun pillars. May be called 'diamond dust.' Precipitation of ice crystals in the form of needles, columns or plates sometimes so tiny, they seem suspended in air. They are mainly visible when they glitter in sunshine and occur only at very low temperatures and stable air masses.  CanadaNCA 

Any one of a number of macroscopic crystalline forms of ice including hexagonal columns and platelets, dendritic crystals, ice needles and their combinations.  WMOMeteoterm 

A barely visible crystalline form of ice that has the shape of needles, columns or plates. Ice crystals are so small that they seem to be suspended in air. Ice crystals occur at very low temperatures in a stable atmosphere.  NOAA-NWS