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With the publication of Uncertainty and the Management of Epidemics, we celebrate our 50th column! Since 2013, our Nature Methods Points of Significance has been offering crisp explanations and practical suggestions about best practices in statistical analysis and reporting. To all our readers and coauthors: thank you and see you in the next column!

It's Snowing in my CPU — a Snowflake catalogue

Now she was round and as pure as the morning light, crystal clear and like a tiny silver mirror she was able to catch and give back every colour in the world about her.
— Paul Gallico, Snowflake

Go ahead, meet some snowflakes.

muoasxa
michee
treyt
donpy
bamberah
gradlo
suzeenne

Somewhere in the world, it's snowing. But you don't need to go far—it's always snowing on this page. Explore light flurries, snowflake families and individual flakes. There are many unusual snowflakes and snowflake family 12 and family 46 are very interesting.

But don't settle for only pixel snowflakes—make an STL file and 3D print your own flakes!

Ad blockers may interfere with some flake images—the names of flakes can trigger ad filters.

And if after reading about my flakes you want more, get your frozen fix with Kenneth Libbrecht's excellent work and Paul Gallico's Snowflake.

Show a random flake or a random flake from this family.

snowflake lalix

name lalix
gender boy
family 7
hex 16, 46
t-SNE 66.4, 166.0

ρ vapor mass 0.5571148267 0.01   43%
κ freezing 0.0134204027 0.14   54%
μ melting 0.0833305727 0.44   66%
γ melting 0.0000720342 –0.27   42%
α attachment 0.2326649405 0.47   61%
β attachment 1.1936589508 –0.27   52%
θ attachment 0.0386011134 –0.18   52%
n growth steps 6374 –0.43   46%

The flake's ranking relative to other flakes with respect to each parameter is shown as a z-score (`(x-\mu)/\sigma`) and percentile.

snowflake files and resources

Download the snowflake's runfile.

Generate STL file for 3D printing.

high-resolution snowflake images

These are the original simulation images. Each snowflake was grown on a 800 × 800 hexagonal grid.

cartesian grid


hex grid


cartesian grid with vapor


hex grid with vapor



© 1999–2022 Martin Krzywinski | contact | Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences CentreBC Cancer Research CenterBC CancerPHSA