Frost flowers, frozen ponds (and fish) on a frigid Alabama morning!

The Weather Authority
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When it’s this cold, some interesting things happen!  Ponds freeze over like this one in Hulaco:

Greg Hudson/Hulaco

Part of Weiss Lake froze over Tuesday morning freezing these shad along the lake shore:

Bunny Lou Hoo/Weiss Lake Shad on Ice

And the ever-popular frost flowers formed again with low temperatures as cold as 3ºF to 10ºF!

Belinda Michael/frost flower

Where do those frost flowers come from?  It’s a neat process of ice expanding upward from the ground!

Here’s the information we shared last time the weather got this cold back in 2016!

Data pix.

Frost flowers are a beautiful byproduct of the first few extremely cold mornings here in the Tennessee Valley.

Frost flowers typically form in the late fall, after the first few hard freezes.

WHNT News 19 viewer Rodney Clough sent us a few pictures of frost flowers he saw off Winchester Road in Huntsville.

The information detailed below is courtesy the Missouri Department of Conservation.

"Frost flowers" are ribbons of frozen sap that form at the bases of certain plants during the first hard freezes in fall.

When do they appear?

Frost flowers occur only in late fall after the first few hard freezes and while the ground is still warm.

Their season is brief, and they disappear quickly on the day they occur, melting like frost when the air warms or rays of sunlight fall on the delicate structures.

How do they form?

While the plants’ stems are ruptured by the first hard freeze, the root system is still sending up plant sap from the warmer ground. The sap pushes through the broken stem and freezes on contact with the cold air. As more saps moves up, it forces the freezing stream of white ice crystals into ornate, folded ribbons that look like petals, puffs of cotton candy, or snarls of white thread.

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