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Understanding where 'freezing fog' comes from

A rather dense area of freezing fog shrouded nearly all of Northeast Kansas on Tuesday morning. That left much of south facing trees coated in a white frost-like ice.

The wind was light, but out of the south, while the fog moved through. That south wind allowed for south-facing trees and surfaces to coat with a very loose riming of ice.

Loose ice allows for air to be essentially "trapped" within the ice structure, giving it a white appearance rather than a glazing of ice, which is clear.

This reminded me of a word that is rarely used. Hoarfrost. It is a very thick, very loose frost that appears very much like what this morning's freezing fog looked like. It's formed on clear, very cold nights where a thick, but loose frost forms on exposed objects.

Again, that's not what we had this morning. It was a true freezing fog. Whatever you call it, it was a beautiful scene across our corner of the state this morning.

January 12, 2010

Weather Watch

Comments

markdunn 11 years ago

It was awesome, whatever you call it.

I'm going to use the word hoarfrost every chance I get.

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jmyrick 11 years ago

You're too funny, Mark. I'd actually heard that term years ago, but had forgotten about it. I've added it back into my vocabulary.

I really liked this blog because I had noticed the frost yesterday, too. I like to learn new weather stuff.

And be careful how/when/where you use hoarfrost, dude.

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markdunn 11 years ago

More hoarfrost this morning!

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jmyrick 11 years ago

Dude, that was freezing fog again. I know you just want to use that word. I like it, too. Hoarfrost. Sure wish we'd get some hoarfrost.

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