Difference between frost & freeze

Photo: Max Pixel

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Fall temperatures have finally arrived in Eastern Iowa. Normally we should have already seen our first frost across the area, but with a late warm up, it has been delayed a bit. What exactly is the difference between a frost and freeze?

Frost forms on clear nights. Temperatures don’t necessarily need to be at the freezing point or 32°, but it can be upwards of 36°. Winds also need to be calm or less than 5 mph.

A freeze is when temperatures are widely at or below 32 degrees. Winds also need to be light in this situation.

When all these factors are present, including moisture near the ground, frost can form. Heading into the nighttime hours and when the temperature becomes cooler than the dew point, the water vapor around grassy areas turns into a solid.

In the extended forecast, though, some may have a chance of seeing frost by next week.