No, not the Disney movie, which, by the way, I have never watched (I must be one of a very unique group of people who haven’t seen this movie yet).
Last night our town was enveloped in thick fog, and with the freezing temperatures I knew that by the morning we would have a case of rime on the trees.
What is rime? It is white ice that forms when the water droplets in fog freeze to the outer surfaces of objects; most commonly seen on trees, shrubs and fences. This fog freezes to the wind-facing side of tree branches, and other solid objects. Given that we ended up with some serious winds last night, we had hard rime this morning. High wind velocities and air temperatures between -2C and -8C typically create hard rime.
What’s the difference between soft and hard rime, and how do you know which is which? Hard rime is comb-like, whereas soft rime is feathery and spiky. Hard rime is also very dense and is less milky looking than the soft rime (unless there is lots of it, then it will have a milky look to it); hard rims is also usually a lot harder to remove from the surfaces.
Anyway, knowing that we would have rime, hard or soft, I was determined to get out first thing this morning to take some photographs. Up until now I have never managed it for one reason or another. Thankfully my body clock seems to be set to work hours even on my days off, so I was up and ready in good time. Sunrise was just after 8am this morning, so I wanted to be out in our park (which is just at the end of our road) by 730am, which was early enough to avoid any school kids making their way to the bus along our road, but not too early to miss some of the pre-dawn light. After half an hour of walking in the deserted park, my face freezing from the cold wind that was still blowing I found that my hair had started to developed a little rime; that was the point I decided I had taken enough photos and it was time to head home for a nice cup of coffee.
Just as an aside, Alberta is known for its crazy weather patterns and this winter has been no exception. About three weeks ago we had our first Chinook of the new year (to find out more about Chinooks go here); they usually last a couple of days, and temperatures can go from -20C to +15C in 24 hours, giving us all a nice break from the cold winter. The Chinook lasted 2 weeks, which gave us Spring like weather, but those who have lived in the Calgary area for a while know that winter will return. And sure enough it did last weekend, not as bad as it could have been, but still 8-10cm of snow with temperatures hovering around -15C. Freezing fog is not uncommon for us in the winter, so it was no big surprise when it arrived yesterday evening. What was a surprise was the weather forecast for today; the morning was to start off at around -11C and then the temperatures were to climb up to +8C – yeah right! It is now late afternoon, and sure enough we have only reached -4C. So no Chinook for us today, but it is on its way again, if the forecast for the remainder of the weekend can be believed.
So, wherever you are this weekend, whatever the weather around is doing, get out there and take some photos and most importantly, enjoy!