Getting Geeky With Grant – Black Ice Explained

Weather Wisdom

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Black ice is a very dangerous threat during the winter months. It may be considered the most dangerous as it is practically invisible and gives you no warning of it’s presence. When precipitation falls, including snow, ice or rain during the cold months, the roads naturally become wet. As temperatures dip below freezing and the sun sets, this moisture freezes turning to ice. Sometimes this is noticeable where you can see a thick sheet of ice or white snow on the surface, allowing you to slow down or avoid the road altogether.

Often times, this moisture freezes on the dark asphalt and shows no signs of being there. It is invisible and you only know about it once it is too late. As it’s name suggests, black ice is not actually black. It is transparent and simply shows the black asphalt underneath it. When you drive over this ice, you can lose total control of your vehicle and can be deadly. You can also be on foot and slip and fall, not knowing it is underneath you. When Meteorologists warn of this dangerous ice, take extra caution when traveling and drive slow if you must leave the house.

The threat for black ice continues into the springtime as well. Just because temperatures during the daytime rise above freezing does not mean we are out of the woods yet. If a potent cold front pushes through, crashing temperatures after a rain storm, this can freeze the water on the roadways creating black ice as well.

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