How Frost Forms

You may be seeing more frost on the windshield soon, but what conditions are needed for it to happen?

Posted: Mar 6, 2019 10:47 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - On cool mornings, there's a good chance you'll start waking up to frost.

It could be on the windshield of your car, or on the grass.

But in order for that to happen, we need to have certain criteria.

Here's what that includes.

First, what exactly is frost?

It's water vapor that cools past the dew point.

Say we have a dew point of 35 degrees one morning.

Once the water vapor gets below 35 degrees, it will become liquid, which then freezes quickly into small ice crystals known as frost.

Now, what kinds of places will we see it?

You'll typically see it on grass or plants when you have plenty of moisture heading into a cool night.

When it comes to your windows, that all depends on the temperature inside your car or home.

Much like when you have to turn the defrost on in your car, frost happens when there is a big temperature difference on either side of the glass.

This usually happens with cold air outside, and warm air inside.

So there you have it, frost formation is very simple as long as we get the air temperature to drop below the dew point.

Then any moisture likely will change to frost.

This is something important to remember, especially as we head into spring.

With many of you planting things like plants and flowers, frost can have a negative effect on your plants.

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