Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

Frost Bites

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Did you know there are different types of frost?  To start, what is frost?  Frost is ice crystals that accumulate on solid surfaces as water vapor cools below the dew point of the surrounding air.  Dew point is the temperature that water vapor changes into water.

I wasn’t sure myself on the different types so I did a bit of research.   Three main types of frost are hoar, rime and fern.

Hoar frost occurs when water vapor forms into ice crystals while rime frost has a liquid phase between water vapor and ice crystals.  Over the past week, we have had many nights of freezing fog (fog that forms under 32 degrees) that has created a beautiful whitescape throughout the Cedar Valley.  When water vapor changes directly into ice crystals like this, it is called deposition.  As the fog remained throughout the night, the ice crystals feathered out more and more.  Fern frost forms on windows as the glass is exposed to cold temperatures on the outside and warm temperatures on the inside.

See you in the gardens.


Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

January 21, 2010 at 6:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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