35 Ice Storm Facts And The Perils Of Being Struck In One | Kidadl


35 Ice Storm Facts And The Perils Of Being Struck In One

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This article will teach you the causes, effects, and perils of being stuck in an ice storm.

A winter storm, commonly known as an ice storm, is a phenomenon with chilly rains, also named a 'glaze event,' and in other parts of the USA, as a 'silver thaw.' According to the National Weather Service of the USA, a storm in winters becomes an ice storm when it leaves behind a minimum of 0.25 in (0.6 cm) of ice on exposed surfaces.

The ice storms do not cause heavy damage like violent storms or cyclones but are dangerous freezing rains as the mercury dips low. Closer to the surface, above a layer of sub-freezing temperatures, the ice formation begins with a layer of above-freezing air.

Cause Of Ice Storms

To experience an ice storm, you need three layers of air that comprise a cold layer at the top, a warm layer below that, and a cold one near the surface.

  • Ice storms have also proved to disrupt utilities besides damaging transportation systems.
  • Freezing rain is the main factor in the formation of an ice storm.
  • Ice is created when chilly air is exposed to near-freezing air near the surface. Similarly, an ice storm is distinguished by freezing rain when ice accumulates the ground forming a 0.25 inch (0.6 cm) layer of ice.
  • The ice during storms generally is formed when the temperature is between32 to 38 F (0 to -13.3 C).
  • The rain falls into subfreezing air before it strikes the ground, and the rain cools down and leaves behind remnants that form a sheet of ice on the ground, trees, roofs, buses, and any other objects.
  • The effects of ice storms can be uniform or uneven. In some cases, it can affect only one region, or it can affect a larger region.
  • During ice storms, the precipitation refreezes before touching a surface can strike the ground in the shape of sleet.
  • On the other hand, the liquid droplets can also continue to fall without freezing, even when it moves from cooler air to the surface.
  • The cold air can bring down the rain temperature below freezing 32 F (0 C). This then leads to the formation of ice.
  • How long does an ice storm last? There is no estimated time for the life of ice storms, provided that it depends on their severity.

Effects Of Ice Storms

Impacts can persist for days, depending on the severity of ice storms and the weather pattern.

  • If the damage is widespread due to more than half-inch of ice, it can take a lot of time to repair power lines and remove trees.
  • How dangerous are ice storms, and what are the effects? Severe ice storms can lead to the falling of trees, which can block roads and make driving hazardous.
  • During these severe ice storms, power outages can be experienced with breaking or sagging tree limbs.
  • If ice accumulation reaches 3 in (7.6 cm), it can result in severely damaged power lines that have caused power outages that lasted for days and in some cases even for weeks.
  • The weight of the ice can quickly bring down electricity poles and the steel frames of electricity towers.
  • Small ice accumulations can be considered extremely dangerous for pedestrians and motorists.
  • The freezing rain caused by an ice storm covers everything with a smooth and heavy glaze of ice.
  • Urban areas tend to suffer more physical and economic damage than rural areas since urban areas have more access to transportation systems and utilities that get severed.
  • If intense and gusty winds accompany the freezing rain, there's a high chance for increased damage. It can result in falling trees and falling branches, and snapped power lines.
  • One of the positive effects of an ice storm is that it can create nesting spaces for birds to keep warm between the nook and crannies of the downed trees.
The birds and wildlife face the brunt of an ice storm as they need more energy to keep warm.

Precautions To Be Taken In Ice Storms

Ice storms can be predicted through weather forecasting to make preparations to tackle the storm's after-effects. But if you still somehow get stuck in one, follow the mentioned safety tips below to stay safe.

  • Stay inside and dress in warm and layered clothing to prevent yourself from contracting cold and fever.
  • Make sure to close the doors and windows of every room in your house to be safe from the extremely cold air caused by the storm.
  • Following operating instructions while using an alternative heat source, you can also use fire safeguards. Also, make sure to ventilate properly.
  • If you lose power, it is always a good idea to have spare flashlights, candles, and batteries in store.

Facts About Ice Storms

  • What are some fun facts about Ice storms? Most ice storms occur in the northern part of the USA, but damaging storms have been known in the farther south.
  • In February 1994, an ice storm led to the accumulation of ice in the Mississippi in the south and caused wreaked havoc in nine states.
  • In some parts of the USA, a winter storm is also known as a silver thaw;
  • One of the closest relatives to freezing rain is sleet, also known as ice pellets that form through a similar process as freezing rain.
  • An ice storm can last for days or hours, depending on the storm's severity. An ice storm is not frequent and occurs one to two times in 25 years.
  • Ice storms may be experienced in a mild and isolated state at a specific region, whereas they may also blanket an entire area with a sheet of thick and clear ice.
  • Midwest and Northeast are the areas that contain the highest frequency of freezing rain.
  • Meteorologists use Doppler radars to predict ice storms.
  • Throughout the USA, ice storms are commonly experienced during December and January.
  • Ice accumulation is experienced when super cold rain freezes after contact with the surfaces below the freezing point.
  • The weight of branches increases 30 times when layered with ice.
  • Ice storms cover everything with ice, and hazardous driving becomes a cause of concern. Power lines also receive a severe blow due to freezing rain.
  • In 2008, an ice storm in Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire suffered severe damages leaving millions of people homeless.
  • How often do ice storms occur, and what weather do they bring along? Based on its frequency, major ice storms are infrequent and happen at least one or two times/25 years on average at any one spot. These storms bring along frosty weather conditions.
Ada Shaikhnag
Written By
Ada Shaikhnag

<p>As a skilled communicator with exceptional interpersonal abilities, Ada holds a Bachelor's degree in Multimedia and Mass Communication from SIES (Nerul) College of Arts, Science &amp; Commerce. Fluent in English and proficient in German, Ada enjoys engaging in meaningful conversations with people while striving to achieve her goals.</p>

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