Hoarfrost or Rime Ice?

by Skip Via

A few days ago, driving around West Valley, I remarked on the beauty of the hoarfrost that had coated some Ponderosa pines along the roadside. That got me wondering about the nature of hoarfrost and how it forms. It turns out that some of what I have been calling hoarfrost is, in fact, not hoarfrost, but rather rime ice. The difference is not important for the casual observer, but it can be important meteorologically.

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