This is an incredible example of hoarfrost that formed on this wire fence. Notice the crystal patterns.

people think of when they think of snow—loose, newly fallen crystals.

Sastrugi are wind-driven, irregular grooves that form in snow. Mostly found in polar regions, grains of snow bind together in a strong wind and freeze to form beautiful solid ridges that are further sculpted by the wind. Sastrugi comes from the Russian word zastrugi , meaning “small ridges.” These formations develop in the same way as desert sand dunes and can cover land, ocean ice, or lake ice. Trekkers and sledders, however, say that despite the beauty of sastrugi, the formations are hard to navigate and are quite often referred to as nature’s speed bumps . Snow megadunes are similar to sastrugi, but are much larger snow structures that form in Antarctica. Scientists did not even


The Inside Scoop on Snow

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