Hi, this is part 1 in a new series about the natural
world, designed to keep you entertained for 30 seconds (or less!).
Most of the UK has recently been covered by what's called 'freezing fog'. The name kind of gives away what it is, but how does it work, and what mark does it leave?
Fog is simply a type of low lying cloud, water vapour that has condensed. But when the air is particularly cold and has cooled quickly, the water droplets can become 'super-cooled' ( below freezing point but not solid ) and freeze to any surface the come in contact with.
Wierd word; interesting stuff, this is what freezing fog leaves us with. When freezing fog comes in to contact with a surface, the water droplets which make up the fog turn to ice crystals, and because all this super cooled water needs to turn to ice is a solid surface, more ice crystals can form on the solid surface of the newly formed ice. This repeating pattern creates 'hard rime' (could be a So-Solid Crew song :-), which creates this beautiful coat over trees and other objects.
Wierdly, if there is wind only the windward side, i.e. the one facing the wind will have the rime on. This is what it looks like...
In this image the wind would be coming from the right hand side of the holly leaves.
Rime can also attach itself to fences...
And make everything look very cool...
If you would like any of the images, just email me on firstname.lastname@example.org ;-)