Early February Hoar Frost mesmerizes Leelanau

Photo by Steph Gerdan

From staff reports

“Hoar frost,” a feathery frost that forms as a result of specific climate conditions, covered trees and branches throughout Leelanau County on Sunday, Feb. 4, inspiring countless photos and conversations. The prematurely melting snow and the impacts of global warming on northern Michigan’s winter created a layer of fog that blanketed the region in an eery but beautiful landscape.

This story sponsored by Black Star Farms.

According to the Woodland Trust, the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity, “the word ‘hoar’ comes from old English and refers to the old age appearance of the frost: the way the ice crystals form makes it look like white hair or a beard. … Hoar frost forms when the water vapor in the air comes into contact with solid surfaces that are already below freezing point. Ice crystals form immediately, and the ice continues to grow as more water vapor is frozen. On a still night, it can grow well on tree branches, where the surface temperature is unlikely to rise above zero for several hours.”

Here are a few photos taken by locals of Sunday’s hoar frost.

Photo by Cherrie Bricker Stege

Photo by Kat Palms

Photo by Linda Caswell

Photo by Steph Gerdan

Photo by Steve Webb

Photo by Suzanne Murphy

Photo by Anne-Marie Oomen

Photo by Andria Bufka