The blizzard that was Winter Storm Juno descended upon the East Coast this week, bringing with it a melange of wind gusts, icy temperatures and admirably geometric snowflake masterpieces.
Residents of cities like Manhattan reported seeing a mix of star-shaped flakes falling upon them, posting impressive shots of the unique configurations across the Internet. We scoured the web for some examples of these stunning dendrites, and the results are appropriately beautiful.
The complex ice crystals are part of a natural art-making process that you might have learned about in your grade school science class. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a snowflake begins to form when exceedingly cold water droplets freeze onto certain particles in the sky, like pollen or dust. The meeting of water and particle creates an ice crystal, and as that crystal falls to the ground, water vapor freezes onto it to produce new crystals –- essentially, the six points of the snowflake that make that stunning star shape.
“There are many different types of crystal patterns and these star-shaped snowflakes are just one example," weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce explained. "The dendrite, a star-shape with varying patterns, is the most common shape of a snowflake.”
See the collection of photos below for more of Juno's star-shaped wonders. Let us know about the flakes that fell before you in the comments. For a closer look at the actual crystal lurking below the snow, check out the work of macrophotographer Alexey Kljatov.