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Heather’s Weather Lab: Strange Looking Ice Formations

Photographer: Amaris Robinson, Columbus

Ice Flower/Frost Flowers
Taken in Columbus, MS
Photographer: Amaris Robinson, Columbus

Columbus, Miss. (WCBI) – Amaris robinson in Columbus took the pictures seen on the right.

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“I just thought they were some weird little ice particles on the side of my driveway. And I thought, well that looks unusual that’s not frost,” said Amaris Robinson of Columbus.

Close, technically they are called frost flowers but we’ll call them ice flowers.

When asked how many there were, Robinson said “There were dozens and dozens and dozens up and down the driveway.”

One Ingredient needed for ice flowers to form is a source of moisture. And what do you know, Robinson has a lake in her front yard.

Dr. Grady Dixon is a meteorology associate professor at Mississippi State has only seen this maybe twice in his life.

“If there’s enough water just below the surface, a little bit of freezing occurs and you get a very thin layer of ice that occurs right near the top of the ground. (32) well when water freezes it expands. And So it takes up more space, and maybe appears on the surface. Well when that ice freezes it transfers it’s cold temperatures down to the water beneath it, The next layer of water also freezes, and everything expands and it lifts the first layer up,” said Dr. Dixon.

Making it look like a flower.

“There probably more common than we know, but they are so small people probably step on them, kick them…they don’t stop and take photos of them.,” said Dr. Dixon.

As soon as the sun comes up, they melt really fast because the ice is not very dense.