Ice crystal


In the 1960s, scientists at the newly founded National Center for Atmospheric Research began investigating how ice crystals form in the atmosphere. Ice crystals form when supercooled water droplets freeze onto dust particles or other ice nuclei in the atmosphere. This exhibit features photographs, documents, and film that shed light on ice crystal and hail research at NCAR in the 1960s and 1970s.

 “Despite all we've learned from laboratory studies of ice crystallization we still have a limited knowledge of how ice crystals grow within a cloud to produce snow, rain or hail. These complex mechanisms are the key to a better understanding, and perhaps modification, of many storms.” – Ice in the Atmosphere film

Ice Crystal Research

Explore research into atmospheric ice crystal formation.

Hail Research

Explore hailstone studies.

Additional Resources

Explore further resources on ice crystal and hail research history.