Investigation of several atmospheric ice crystal processes, occurring during rapid vapor diffusional growth of ice crystals, indicates that the rates of these processes are not well-characterized by theory. These processes include ice crystal aggregation, scavenging of aerosol particles by ice crystals, secondary ice formation, and the early development of cloud electrification. Additionally, ice crystal morphology (shape and form) and symmetry are characteristics arising from ice crystal diffusional growth which are not fully understood on the basis of existing theory. To explain these observations, we postulate the existence of electric multipoles in growing ice crystals, arising from a differential incorporation of contaminant ions into the ice crystal lattice. This single postulate, based on well-founded physical and chemical principles, provides a basis for understanding a variety of phenomena associated with the ice phase in atmospheric clouds.