Wyoming December 04, 2018
The Natural Phenomenon In Wyoming That Only Happens During Wintertime
While the coldest weather has yet to approach, Wyomingites everywhere are getting prepared for winter. We’re stocking up on firewood and
quilting fabric, filling up our snowblowers, and double checking that our boots are ready for the season. While winter in Wyoming is a lot of work for those who live here, it pays off with spectacular scenery that we truly get to appreciate.
Winter in Wyoming is truly a wonder, and luckily those who live here can appreciate the sub zero temperatures and stunning snowfalls.
Winter in Wyoming is anything but ordinary. From spontaneous blizzards to summertime snowfalls, you've got to be ready for everything out here. Most Wyomingites will say it's worth it, though, to see the incredible scenes that unfold in the Cowboy State in the dead of winter.
Those who know what to look for can spot a natural phenomenon throughout the season - rime ice and hoarfrost are rare, but fascinating.
Rime ice is common in Yellowstone National Park. It's formed when steam from therma features freezes onto nearby trees and rocks.
Rime ice looks like a fresh coat of snow - but it's a hard frost. It's less dense than glaze ice (what happens to trees during freezing rain) but also way less common, so keep an eye out!
You'll know you've spotted rime ice when it looks like this.
Rime Ice forms when extremely cold air causes the branches, trees, logs and rocks to act like ice packs. When the steam touches them, it instantly freezes, and piles up.
Another winter phenomenon in Wyoming that you should try to spot is hoarfrost.
Hoarfrost is when water vapor forms in subzero temperatures. It sticks to trees, rocks, and snow. You can tell it's different than rime ice when it completely encircles the trees or branches, or lies on the surface of snow.
Hoarfrost is less common than rime ice, because there can't be any wind while it forms.
We all know how common it is to have a windless day in Wyoming! It also requires moist air, so it's more common in areas near rivers or at the scene of a fresh snowfall.
Hoarfrost and Rime Ice are both part of what makes Wyoming's winter scenery so special - have you spotted it where you live?
While these aren't common occurrences, if you keep a sharp eye and know where to look, you've got a good chance spot rime ice and hoarfrost this winter.
If you see rime ice and hoarfrost this winter, snap a photo and share it with our
Wyoming Nature Lovers group. We would love to see these wild phenomenon from all over the state!