Hoarfrost Crystals in Maine

April 07, 2022

Hoarfrost 12 012222

Photographer: John Stetson

Summary Authors: John Stetson; Cadan Cummings

Shown above is a photo of hoarfrost taken on January 22, 2022, near Sebago Lake, Maine. Hoarfrost forms in very cold weather when moist air is cooled to a sub-freezing dew point, which quickly converts the water vapor directly into these intricate ice structures. Although winter conditions are not prone for moist air, direct sunlight can promote increased water vapor near ground level through causing snow to either sublimate or melt and evaporate. The crystals are typically short-lived since they appear overnight and disappear gradually throughout the day as the Sun climbs higher in the sky.

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