What is the difference between hoarfrost and rime ice?
Travis B. Aurora
Both produce exquisite ice deposits, but they form in different manners. Hoarfrost is a direct deposition of atmospheric moisture in the form of ice crystals on objects like tree branches, plant stems, wires, poles, etc., without the moisture ever passing through the liquid phase. It typically forms on clear, cold, and calm nights and can give objects an almost “fairyland” appearance, especially during the early morning when the frost is illuminated by low-angle sunlight. The term “hoar” is a reference to the frosty coating and comes from the word hoary, which means white or gray with age, or showing characteristics of age. Rime ice is a deposit of ice that forms when supercooled cloud or fog droplets rapidly freeze when coming in contact with an object.