Sastrugi or Zastrugi Wikipedia
Weather Channel February 23, 2023: Today's weather word goes out to people out there who might be looking for a new word beginning with Z - Zastrugi. Also written sastrugi, zastrugi refers to parallel wave-like ridges on the surface of hard snow, usually in polar regions.
Zastrugi form after grains of snow are driven together by strong winds. After the wind ebbs, these formations freeze solid, forming hard ridges. When the wind picks up again, the base on the windward side of each ridge erodes faster than the top, creating the distinctive anvil tip shapes that characterize zastrugi.
Zastrugi are sometimes compared visually to dunes on the sand or frozen waves on a river. However, they are formed much more slowly than frozen waves, and are not moved as easily as sand dunes are. If you're pushing a sled through the Arctic or Antarctic, zastrugi can be a major bummer. That's because they function, basically, as speed bumps. On the other hand, since zastrugi can tell you the direction of the prevailing wind, they can make clear where the leeward (i.e. sheltered) side of any slope is, which is helpful for avoiding avalanches.
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