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Thaw and freeze, thaw and freeze

Swings in temperature will create the potential for black ice each evening going forward.

Posted: Jan 25, 2018 9:59 PM

Welcome back to winter!  After a few mild days with rain, mother nature has reminded us that we're still in January.  We did get a chance to enjoy sunshine Thursday afternoon and more is expected on Friday, but there is something to be aware of with the changes in temperature - black ice.

Black ice forms when water freezes on the road.  It gets its name from the color that it looks like on the road (ice is not black).  Air temperatures don't necessarily need to climb above freezing for snow to melt.  On sunny days like Thursday, the road temperature is warmer than the air temperature, sometimes significantly.  This can allow snow to melt on the roads even when the air temperature is below freezing.  

Melting snow/ice during the day becomes a big problem at night when temperatures fall below freezing.  This creates slippery surfaces that can catch people off guard because it can happen during quiet weather days.

The next chance of this happening will be Friday night.  Temperatures will stay generally above freezing on Saturday night and our attention will shift to a significant snow melt (for those that still have it) this weekend.

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