Frost

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Frost is the solid deposition of water vapor from saturated air. It is formed when solid surfaces are cooled to below the dew point of the adjacent air as well as below the freezing point of water.[1] Frost crystals' size differ depending on time and water vapour available. Frost is also usually translucent in appearance. There are many types of frost, such as radiation and window frost. Frost causes economic damage when it destroys plants or hanging fruits.

Contents

Formation

If a solid surface is chilled below the dew point of the surrounding air and the surface itself is colder than freezing, frost will form on the surface. Frost consists of spicules of ice which grow out from the solid surface. The size of the crystals depends on time, temperature, and the amount of water vapor available. Based on wind direction, "Frost arrows" might form.

In general, for frost to form the deposition surface must be colder than the surrounding air. For instance frost may be observed around cracks in cold wooden sidewalks when moist air escapes from the ground below. Other objects on which frost tends to form are those with low specific heat or high thermal emissivity, such as blackened metals; hence the accumulation of frost on the heads of rusty nails. The apparently erratic occurrence of frost in adjacent localities is due partly to differences of elevation, the lower areas becoming colder on calm nights. It is also affected by differences in absorptivity and specific heat of the ground which in the absence of wind greatly influences the temperature attained by the superincumbent air.

The formation of frost is an example of meteorological deposition.

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