LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Most of us woke up to it today: frost. As we move deeper into the month of November, scraping the frost off your windshield will seemingly become a part of your morning routine.
6 News meteorologist Kendall Wilson explains how frost forms on this week’s installment of Weather Wednesday.
You walk out to your car to find that it is covered in frost, meaning you need to take extra time to either scrape it off, or you can just sit in the car, turn up the heat and wait for it to go away.
But have you ever wondered how this frost forms?
First, we need to think about where temperatures are taken in the atmosphere. Temperatures that you normally see on your screen are actually taken five feet above the ground.
This is why even when temperatures are above freezing, we see frost, because the temperature at the ground or on other surfaces is much cooler than five feet in the air.
Now, for how frost actually forms.
During the day, the sunshine heats the ground and warms the air at the surface. Once the sun sets on a clear and calm night, the temperatures decrease rapidly, especially at the ground and on another surfaces.
The cooling of the air forces some moisture on those surfaces such as your car windshield.
As the temperatures of those surfaces fall below freezing, we get the formation of frost.
Just like with everything in the atmosphere, the conditions need to be just right, we need a combination of significant moisture in the air or at the surface, calm winds, and dewpoints below 32 degrees.
Since the growing season for vegetation has come to an end, the National Weather Service wont issue anymore frost advisories for the time being.
Now that you know how frost forms, you’ll be able to plan for giving yourself some extra time in the morning.