Snow grains, snow pellets usher in spring in Taiwan

Taipei-Taiwan saw snow grains and snow pellets in high mountains on Saturday, a classic weather pattern during the early spring, and similar forms of precipitation are expected through noon Sunday, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said.

A total of 6 centimeters of snow grains fell on Yushan, the tallest peak in the country at 3,952 meters, between 1:25 p.m. and 5:50 p.m., said forecaster Lin Ting-yi (???).

Unlike snow -- which is made of ice crystals -- snow grains are small, white, opaque grains of ice that are formed mostly from stratus clouds or fog at temperatures of between 0 and minus 10 degrees Celsius, Lin said.

The snow grains on Saturday were a result of rapid interaction between cold and warm air, which is common in the spring, according to Lin.

Besides snow grains on Yushan, there were snow pellets reported on 3,422-meter-high Hehuanshan that started falling around noon, Lin said.

It is likely that the snow pellets were formed under similar atmospheric conditions, Lin said.

Because the CWB does not have a manned weather station there, however, information about the precipitation was limited, he said.

Snow pellets are also a crystal-less formation of super-cooled water droplet-like snow grains, but they are bigger and softer and are formed at around 0 degrees, Lin said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel