Steve Horstmeyer explains rime ice, or 'freezing fog' - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Steve Horstmeyer explains rime ice, or 'freezing fog'

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Viewer Teka McCown sent us some beautiful photos of a mysterious phenomenon along the Little Miami River. The trees along the banks were covered in a pretty white frosting and fog seemed to be coming from the water.

Meteorologist Steve Horstmeyer tells us this is rime ice and it forms in this case when the very small water drops from the river fog freeze on the trees and build up over time.

When a weather observer sees this happen at an airport they report "freezing fog".

Very small water droplets can remain liquid well below freezing because of the forces of attraction between water molecules.

When one of those small drops that is colder than freezing (a super-cooled fog droplet) strikes the tree the forces of attraction between water molecules are disrupted and the water freezes into a small ball of rime ice. The rime builds up over time.

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