03/27/2017 by Julia van der Doesch
Icicles can form during bright, sunny, but subfreezing weather, when ice or snow melted by sunlight or some other heat source (such as a poorly insulated building), refreezes as it drips off under exposed conditions.
Over time continued water runoff will cause the icicle to grow. Another set of conditions is during ice storms, when rain falling in air slightly below freezing slowly accumulates as numerous small icicles hanging from twigs, leaves, wires, etc. Thirdly, icicles can form wherever water seeps out of or drips off vertical surfaces such as road cuts or cliffs. Under some conditions these can slowly form the “frozen waterfalls” favored by ice climbers
Icicles form on surfaces which might have a smooth and straight, or irregular shape, which in turn influences the shape of an icicle. Another influence is melting water, which might flow toward the icicle in a straight line or which might flow from several directions. Impurities in the water can lead to ripples on the surface of the icicles.