Here’s The Reason Rockford Looks Like This Right Now
I know that I'm not alone in thinking that the Rockford area has looked absolutely stunning over the last couple of days.
It started 2 days ago when a dense fog advisory was issued by the National Weather Service. Like most everyone else, I figured it would be foggy for a few hours, and then we'd all move on.
Except, the fog hasn't really moved on. And, it's left us with some of the most photographable weather scenery in recent memory. So, what's the story behind this unusual weather phenomenon?
When you want to know something, go to the experts. That's what I did. I got in touch with MyStateline.com and WROK Morning Show meteorologist Joey Marino and asked him if he could break it down for us. Joey, being the awesome guy that he is, quickly agreed to do just that.
Me: So Joey, what's the deal with the ice and how it's so unusual looking? Does it have a name?
Joey Marino: Now there's three types of ice in meteorology, first is clear ice, second is rime ice and third is mixed ice. What we got to see yesterday was rime ice.
Me: Rime Ice? I've never heard of that before now. It can't be something we get all the time, or more people would know that name.
Joey Marino: It's quite fascinating considering that rime ice is most frequently found around mountain tops and ridges during the winter months. But since we had the perfect environment for freezing fog to form, that's what allowed for significant rime ice to accumulate on tree branches buildings and other surfaces across the Stateline on Monday morning.
Me: So, this is the unusual result of conditions being perfect for the creation of rime ice?
Joey Marino: Because the air just above the surface was very cold, the water droplets inside the fog layer Monday morning became what we call "supercooled". Supercooled water droplets are droplets of water where the temperature is below freezing, but the water has not become frozen as these droplets remain undisturbed. But once they're disturbed or make contact with an object they freeze which gives them the appearance of ice spikes!
Joey went on to tell me that it's been quite awhile since he's seen rime ice this significant, so you might want to get some good photos or video before it's all gone.
That's what my son Spencer did yesterday afternoon when he sent a drone up in our neighborhood to grab some 4K footage: