Science behind frost formation

Published: Oct. 17, 2023 at 10:59 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 17, 2023 at 12:11 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Frost is a common occurrence in the quad cities during the late fall, winter and early spring.

It is a formation of thin ice crystals on the ground or other objects that can be in the form of scales, needles, feathers or fans.

This happens most often on grass and plants close to the ground, but how does it form.

The air temperature doesn’t necessarily have to be at or below the freezing mark.

Frost generally forms on a night with clear skies and light winds.

The temperature you see on the weather map or on the qc weather app is measured several feet above the ground.

Remember, cold air sinks so a lot of times the ground temperature can be several degrees cooler.

If there is enough moisture present in the air, water molecules will touch the surface, such as grass or the pumpkin on your front porch, and freeze on contact forming ice crystals, or frost.

Looking at the forecast ahead, frost is not looking likely over the next week.