Winter can be the most challenging season here in Illinois. The frigid temperatures really test what we're made of. Most of the time, snow and cold is viewed in disgust because of the inconvenience is causes us. There can also be a beautiful side to winter extremes as well, as Adam from ISC shows us through a series of photos taken on Sunday January 27th.
What we are seeing in the images isn't all snow - but rather something called hoar frost, or rime ice. This is essentially fog or steam that freezes on the surfaces of nearby objects, coating everything in a fragile coating of white. The rime ice is delicate to the touch, and will crumble away when touched.
These examples are a bit extreme in nature, as rime ice rarely accumulates to these amounts. Scenes like this often resemble those found in mountains or cities located in a more tundra-like climate. However, Illinois holds a little secret in the form of being the state in the U.S with the most number of nuclear power plants. These power plants require cooling lakes - lakes which stay relatively warm even during frigid winter temperatures that dip below zero. When this occurs the surrounding areas get a bit of a boost in rime ice/hoar frost formation and can help lead to these dramatic scenes!