How does frost form?

frost2frostA Frost Advisory is in effect for all of Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin tonight. With clear skies and light wind, frost is almost a certainty in the region tonight. But have you ever really wondered why frost forms to begin with? What we don’t see in the air that we breathe is the water vapor/molecules. We term this as humidity in the weather department. On any given day, water molecules are moving all around us. In warmer days, the molecules are moving faster. In colder days, the molecules are slower. When temperatures get down to freezing the molecules freeze on contact with the ground to form frost.

What’s interesting about this process is that it can happen even when temperatures aren’t officially at or below freezing. Our official temperatures are taken in cotton region shelters which are 5-10 feet above the ground. Cold air is more dense than warm air so it sinks, meaning that with a 37° air temperature, we can have 32° temperatures at ground-level.

Any frost will go away immediately with the presence of sunshine Wednesday morning so if you’re covering plants make sure to remove the protection as soon as the sun comes up.


Posted under cold blast

This post was written by qni_it on April 27, 2010

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