The reason behind the intricate ice patterns on your window

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Frost patterns

Picture courtesy of Linda Louise.

With temperatures consistently dropping below freezing, frost can form on just about any surface colder than 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sometimes, frost just looks like a glazed layer of white. Other times, the frost forms incredibly intricate and beautiful patterns.

Viewer Linda Louise sent these images to FOX4. The pictures show gorgeous, leaf-like designs etched into the glass from the ice.

Frost patterns
Picture courtesy of Linda Louise.

What causes this — and how can we get more of it?

A report on frost by the BBC states it’s actually not a product of the ice itself. The article blames imperfections on the surface of the glass, like scratches, dirt and dust. On windshields, residue from windshield washer fluid can create the patterns. The imperfections affect the way the ice crystals form and branch out.

So, don’t scratch your window, but next time you know a freeze is coming, try using some fluid on your windshield and see what happens! You can always scrape it off later.

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