Weather Talk: Snow flurries are common and uniquely wintry

When ice crystals fall from the clouds in such a way as to lightly fill the air but barely accumulate on the ground, this is called snow flurries. Snow flurries are a form of winter weather for which there is no good summertime counterpart.

Flurries of snow are really not at all like sprinkles of rain. Flurries are far more predominant, for one thing. We get a lot of days with flurries. It is not unusual for more than half the days in a winter month to have at least a trace of snow and much of that is just flurries.

There is a physical reason; the process of forming ice crystals in a cloud is far more efficient than the process of growing water droplets. So when the temperature is cold and humidity is high enough, flurries happen very easily. So easily, in fact, that it is hard to forecast the difference between when there will be flurries as opposed to just clouds.