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    Posted January 24, 2014 by
    olafbob
    Location
    Danville, Pennsylvania
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Wintry weather 2014

    Ice Antennas

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     On the morning of January 15 olafbob came across a strange sight, his car had icy antennas on top of it. The Danville, Pennsylvanian resident took a picture of the frozen clumps of ice and emailed it to his local TV station WNEP. He was hoping for an explanation and he got one from the station's meteorologist. 'I was excited that I had something like this that was obviously very unusual. I knew that they grew from the bottom up but couldn’t understand why. I like to know why about things,' he said.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    I was out taking pictures of a very heavy frost on everything in our yard on Wednesday morning, January 15th. We had just had a night of heavy fog and then freezing temperatures. As I walked around looking for photo opportunities I noticed something odd on my pick-up truck. It grew 2 almost symmetrical ice structures on the sun visor on the roof that looked like antennas. These were obviously formed from the bottom up, not the top down like an icicle. How can this be I wondered? After sending a few photos to our local TV station I got the answer from Tom Clark, Chief Meteorologist at WNEP in Moosic, Pa. He explained nicely what happened -

    "Those ice formations are called ice spikes. They form when water freezes and expands. The water first turns to ice around the edges of the enclosure holding the water.

    The freezing spreads inward until at some point there is a small hole or opening that remains on the surface. The expanding ice starts to force water upward thru the opening forming a tube of ice straw.

    The water slowly spills over the top and freezes on the outside rim causing the tube to lengthen. The tube will stop growing when either all the water from below freezes or when the tube freezes shut forming a solid spike of ice.

    I suspect that a light wind may have caused the spikes to grow at an angle so that they appears much like a pair of radio antenna would look."

    This was an odd winter wonder and I was happy I found before it melted away later in the day.

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