Ice particles shaped like lollipops fall from clouds | Science News

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Ice particles shaped like lollipops fall from clouds

Tiny ‘ice-lollies’ may pull water from the atmosphere

By
7:00am, May 10, 2017

LOLLY LOOK-SEE  A research flight observed tiny ice particles that look like miniature lollipops in clouds above the British Isles.

Ice-Lolly
\AIS LOL-ee\ n.

A small ice particle made of a needle-shaped ice crystal and a single drizzle-sized water droplet

Right now, somewhere in the world, it could be raining lollies. A 2009 research flight through clouds above the British Isles gathered ice particles with an unusually sweet look. Each millimeter-sized particle consisted of a stick-shaped piece of ice with a single water droplet frozen on the end, giving it the appearance of a lollipop. Atmospheric scientist Stavros Keppas of the University of Manchester in England and colleagues report the discovery of the atmospheric confections in a paper to be published in Geophysical Research Letters.

The ice-lollies, as Keppas dubs them, start as pristine, six-sided ice crystals formed in the tops of clouds. A stream of relatively warm air cut through the clouds, creating a zone of water

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