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sun cups

ablation hollows that develop during intense sunshine.


the condition when a liquid remains in the liquid state even through its temperature is below its freezing point.


the condition which occurs in the atmosphere when the relative humidity is greater than 100%.

surface hoar

the deposition (sublimation) of ice crystals on a surface which occurs when the temperature of the surface is colder than the air above and colder than the frost point of that air.


temperature-gradient metamorphism

snow metamorphism that occurs when there are strong differences in temperature between the bottom and top of a snow layer.

unbreakable crust

a hard snow surface lying upon a softer layer; may be formed by sun, rain or wind, and is described as breakable crust or unbreakable crust, depending upon wether it will break under the weight of a turning skier.

watermelon snow

snow with red algae growing on it.


a condition in which daylight is diffused by multiple reflections between a snow surface and an overcast sky; contrasts vanish, and the observer is unable to distinguish the horizon or any snow surface feature.