Hoar Frost

Interesting name but a beautiful sight! Meteorologist Josh Fitzpatrick goes over the different types of frost and how it's formed.

I got a question from one of my blog readers recently that had to do with frost.  Lisa Jenkins from Greenup, KY asks: "I came across the name hoar frost and I'm wondering if that's what it's really called and do we see it around here?"

Lisa, thanks for the question and that's the real name given to a certain type of frost.  It's a odd name but a nice sight to see when it happens! 

Hoar frost occurs when water vapor, such as fog touches a very cold surface and freezes on it instantly.  This can happen to any object that's cold enough for the water vapor to freeze on.  We do get hoar frost around our region.  It doesn't happen a lot though.  We usually see it along the rivers when the air gets very cold and fog or mist rises from the water and freezes on the trees.  Below is a photo of what hoar frost looks like.

Here are other forms of frost:

 rime frost  Rime frost: Rime is ice formed when a damp, icy wind blows over branches and other surfaces.  Rime frost looks like icing around the edges of petals and leaves and only occur res when the temperatures are very low.

fern frost  Fern frost: In particularly cold weather, fern frost may appear on windows.  This happens when tiny water droplets (dew) first form on the cold glass.  These turn into ice and more moisture freezes on top.  As this process continues, more ice crystals are formed and the frost develops into what looks like feathery fingers.  Fern frost can create beautiful patterns of ice crystals, which often look leaf or fern like - hence the name.

Frost is white because the crystals contain air.

Jack Frost - frost is often characterized by the evil Jack Frost.  People used to say that his spiky character left his icy finger marks on every window pane.

Keep those great questions coming.  If you have a weather related question on comment, post it below in the comment section.  Thanks for reading and make it a great day!



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