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Beijing enjoyed its third day of artificially induced snow on Thursday after its longest drought in 38 years.


 water control China cloud artificial drought snow induced weather iodide
Wilson Bentley (1865-1931) is credited with capturing the first images of single snowflakes on camera. He made thousands of the jewel-like prints, no two alike. His photomicrography technique involved a microscope and a bellows camera. He caught pneumonia in a blizzard and died just weeks after the publication of his book Snow Crystals.


 snow snowflake photography crystal ice Ivana Šebestová
Chinese meteorologists say they brought about Beijing's earliest snowfall in a decade, after seeding rain clouds with silver iodide to ease a drought.


 cloud China snow meteorology weather drought
Either there's a special machine that spits out silver iodide, dry ice or cement into the clouds, or a hatch opens and a guy with a shovel seeds the clouds manually.


 cloud snow meteorology weather drought Russia rain
A study of hailstones has found large numbers of bacteria at their cores. The find lends credence to the "bio-precipitation" idea, which suggests that bacteria are actively involved in stimulating precipitation. The bacteria have protein coatings that cause water to freeze at relatively warm temperatures.


 water bacteria microorganism precipitation rain snow ice freeze climate biology weather