"Frost flowers" develop near Mount Rogers

Friday night's chill allowed frost flowers to form

Photo Credit: Shelia Haga - Mount Rogers
Photo Credit: Shelia Haga - Mount Rogers

MOUNT ROGERS, Va. – If you live near a mountain, chances are you've seen rime ice develop during the late fall and winter months. Rime ice will develop when supercooled water (water that's below freezing but not yet ice) makes contact with something and freezes upon contact. 

That's what Shelia Haga is used to seeing. However, she saw something a little different when walking her dogs on Mount Rogers early Saturday morning. She snapped the picture you see headlined in this article. 

What Haga captured was a group of frost flowers. Thin layers of ice are forced out from the stems of certain plants, when the air is below freezing and there's moisture in the soil. Water in the stem moves upward, splits the stem and freezes on contact with the cold air.

The width of the ice is determined by just how long that split is.

You'll oftentimes find this in weeds and/or in areas that aren't mowed much, which makes sense as to why these were seen early Saturday morning on Mount Rogers.

Source: https://www.weather.gov/lmk/frost_flowers

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