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No Snowflake Is Alike


Two University of Utah scientists have determined the two sides of the same snowflake aren't even alike.  These researchers are using a cutting-edge 3D camera to use these imperfections to update estimates of road slickness and other storm impacts.

The new device is called the Present Weather Imager, or PWI.  It allows anyone to see a single snowflake as small as 100 micrometers across, roughly the diameter of a human hair, in three dimensions. This, in turn, would enable scientists to see what kind of snow is occurring.  Is it sticking on the roads or just evaporating?

It's estimated weather causes roughly 1.3 million traffic accidents every year.  Better precipitation data, the belief is, could lower this number.  And in a perfect world, perhaps drastically.

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