Rime ice forms on mountain tops in our area


When I was looking at our various cameras across the area today, I was eager to look at the one on Holston Mountain. Rime ice had developed overnight on our tower, which really comes as no surprise. Still, it's interesting!

Rime ice looks like snow from afar, but it forms in a different way. Snow is crystallized. Rime ice is different, though.

The air at the 3,000 to 4,000 foot level was juuuuust below freezing overnight, and it was also saturated. So, these 'supercooled' water droplets formed. 'Supercooled' refers to something that's below freezing but hasn't yet crystallized.

When these 'supercooled' drops come into contact with something, like trees on a mountain or our tower on Holston Mountain, they crystallize.

This isn't incredibly rare. In fact, it's fairly common to see this in the late fall and winter in our area.

Just a few weeks ago, Jeff Elliott saw this on Whitetop Mountain! Once the sky clears, I can almost guarantee that some of you will see this very same thing on Whitetop, High Knob, and Roan Mountain (just to name a few).

Have any questions for us about how the weather works? Let us know, by emailing to

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