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Icicles forming on a home

An icicle is a spike of ice formed when water falling from an object freezes.

Various snow spikes are formed on days when the outdoor air temperature is sub freezing and heat from sunlight melts snow or ice on anything sloped. The droplets of water freeze as they loses their heat to the cold air, forming a cone-like shape of ice.[1]

Shape[change | change source]

Once water starts dripping, it begins to freeze into a certain side. It will melt and freeze over and begin to create icicles. As winter gets longer and temperatures stay in the freezing and sunlight is present, water will just melt and drip alongside the icicle causing them to get longer and sharper. The reason why icicles are pointy is because the water drips in a downward motion. Icicles can range from millimeters to feet in length.[2]

Snow[change | change source]

Once temperatures reach 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius), snow starts to fall. Snow will begin to build on top of each snowflake and sit on whatever surface is present. Snow is white in color and can be from the width of a single strand or hair to even inches long. Although it must be cold in order for snow to fall, it is not frozen rain, but it is a cluster of many crystals falling from the clouds.[3]

Accidents[change | change source]

Icicles are beautiful, but they can be very dangerous. Icicles have been reported fatal since the 1700's, from falling on people and causing accidents to property being reported. Icicles can cause damage on many structures such as buildings and homes, once ice forms layers the weight of it can cause the structure to fall or break off. Icicles can also be formed on bridges over streets and highways creating a potential danger for nearby motor vehicles passing by.[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. "How Are Icicles Formed?". www.wonderopolis.org. Retrieved 2019-12-12.
  2. Ashish (2018-09-08). "How Can Icicles Drip Even When The Temperature Is Below Freezing? » Science ABC". Science ABC. Retrieved 2019-12-12.
  3. Means, Tiffany. "The Science of Snowflakes Explained". ThoughtCo. Retrieved 2019-12-12.
  4. "Death by Icicle - 10 Chilling Tales of People Killed by Icicles". Go Green Travel Green. 2016-05-20. Retrieved 2019-12-12.