NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — It’s unavoidable. Frost impacts all of us here in North Dakota.
Even if you have a garage, you’re scraping frost off your windshield at some point.
Here’s a hypothetical night for us. (below) Our air temperatures are measured five feet off the ground. In this case, we have 36 degrees. But the ground is often cooler at night. In this case, we’ve dropped to the freezing mark.
Water molecules in the air then touch any frozen surface and freeze on contact. So this could be grass, bushes, and even, your windshield. Basically, anything at 32 degrees and colder can have frost on it.
The favorable conditions for frost are clear skies, light winds, moisture in the air, and temperatures have to be in the 30s.
Frost doesn’t just impact objects above ground, it’s in our soil as well during the winter months. This is why earth-moving construction usually comes to a halt here for a few months out of the year. Frost can range from a few inches in the ground to around eight feet deep – depending on the year. When we start to thaw out in the spring, sometimes we can get what’s called frost heaving where literally sheets of frost rise and fall from the melting and refreezing of the ground. That’s why our roads can buckle in the spring. And there’s nothing we can do about that.
But there is something we can do about the frost on your windshield when you don’t have a scraper. Grab a spray bottle and mix one part water with two parts rubbing alcohol and spray it on your windshield. You’ll see that frost melt away.
The reason this works is that it would take a temperature of -138 degrees to freeze the rubbing alcohol. That means it’s a good melting agent.