Tahoe Nugget #27:
Rime ice on trees
One of the benefits of backcountry skiing besides exercise, exhilaration, and solitude, is that the slower pace gives one a chance to
really enjoy the aesthetic beauty that winter storms add to the landscape. The last system covered high-elevation pine trees with a stunning rime coating. Rime is formed at subfreezing temperatures when supercooled
liquid cloud droplets are blown against solid objects and then freeze on contact with them.
Rime deposits tend to accumulate on the windward side; the greater the wind velocity, the more rapid the rate of
growth. Trees at timberline, like these at 9,000 feet near Mt. Rose, frequently have their limbs bent and broken by heavy rime accumulation. Rime ice is considered a form of precipitation and its contribution to a
region's total annual precipitation (albeit minor) may be significant, especially in the upper watersheds of arid regions like western Nevada.