This week was the longest stretch of chilly temperatures that we've had so far this winter season and the cold air created some beautiful ice formations around East Tennessee.
On Tuesday, Lindsey Tharan Martin posted these photos of "needle ice" on our WBIR Weather Facebook page asking it formed.
The answer: It forms when the soil temp is above freezing but the air temp is below freezing. Water in the top layer of soil freezes and creates these “needles” that stick up out of the ground. They can sometime lift up clumps of soil and the ground will make a crunching sound when you walk on it.
Michael Robinson came across these beautiful frost flowers in Norris.
They are form when moisture is extruded from plants during cold weather. The liquid freezes into thin layers that look like petals. This is something that you would usually see during the fall of early winter.
Melina Edwards Moore really blew us away when she sent us these photos on Wednesday asking how this piece of ice formed on her grill cover.
This is a form of an ice spike called an “inverted pyramid”. The process that causes these shapes to form is complicated and still not fully understood. Conditions have to be just right... And obviously they were this week in Speedwell!
And finally, this extended period of cold weather has allowed ice to form around Ramsey Cascades in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
This is also a good reminder that it is usually much colder in the higher elevations than it is in the Valley. You should always be prepared for chilly conditions if you'll be heading into the Mountains.