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Transcript of Ice Storms
Ice storms are one of the most dangerous, but interesting
storms. Here are some some facts about them:
Ice storms can increase the weight of tree branches approximately 30 times
A 1/2" accumulation of ice can add about 500 pounds of extra weight to power lines
Some extremely powerful ice storms can knock out power, affecting millions of people
To put fact #2 into perspective, in 1998, an ice storm in New York knocked down millions of trees and caused $1.4 billion in damage costs. Accumulations of ice in the storm were as much as 3"
Ice storms are caused by freezing rain. They form when a warm air mass is wedged in between two cool air masses.
Snowflakes then begin to fall, and melt when they reach the warm air mass. The now melted snowflakes hit the ground and freeze again to ice due to the lowest, cold air mass. The melted snowflake now becomes ice.This constant precipitation is an ice storm.
Dangers of Ice Storms
There are 3 categories of ice storms. The least powerful ice storm is called a Nuisance Ice Storm. A Nuisance Ice Storm usually brings about 1/4" of ice accumulation. The second most powerful storm is called a Disruptive Ice Storm. A Disruptive Ice Storm usually brings about 1/2" of ice accumulation. The most powerful storm is called a Crippling Ice Storm. A Crippling Ice Storm brings widespread ice accumulation that is over 1/2". A Nuisance Ice Storm usually only glazes roads and trees but can still be dangerous. A Disruptive Ice Storm can cause trees to sag and can also cause power outages. A Crippling Ice Storm can cause extremely icy roads, widespread power outages, and widespread tree damage.
How to Protect Yourself from Ice Storms?
There are several ways to stay protected during an ice storm. The most important thing to do is have a plan. You should have ready a first-aid kit, food, bottled water, a battery operated radio and flashlight, protective and warm clothing, and blankets. During the storm, always stay indoors. Eat regularly as the energy from food keeps you warm. If you do have to drive, carry a fully charged cell phone and make sure you have a full tank of gas.
Historical Ice Storms
In January 2009, a devastating ice storm ripped through Northern Arkansas and Kentucky. The storm was categorized as a Crippling Ice Storm, the most powerful type. Thousands of trees toppled, blocking roads and smashing into houses and cars. The storm caused 1.3 million people to lose power. Another powerful ice storm occurred on January, 1998 in New York and New England. Over 500,000 people lost power and 16 people died. This storm was also categorized a Crippling Ice Storm. The damages in the storm caused $1.4 billion.
Sleet vs Freezing Rain
You man not think so, but there are several differences between sleet and snow. Snow drops down into an area of warm air and starts to melt. It becomes a rain drop with a ice core. Then it enters a cold area of air and it freezes in the state it’s in and hits the ground as solid sleet. Freezing rain also starts as snow. The difference is that the snow goes through a deeper warm area of air. This causes the snow to become a raindrop. When it enters the cold air mass it takes longer to freeze. When it finally freezes, it has just hit the ground.
They're Just too Cool!!!
What are Ice Storms???
Ice storms are storms of freezing rain that leave a coating of ice behind. Freezing rain is snowflakes that melt, and then freeze when they hit the ground. Ice storms are also known as the Glaze Event and Silver Thaw in some places. But, no matter what the name, ice storms can be dangerous.
How do Ice Storms form?
How to Predict Ice Storms
Ice Storms on Weather Maps
Where do Ice Storms occur?
Dangers of Ice Storms contd.
Ice storms often form in low pressure systems. The temperature must be really cold at the surface of the earth for the rain to freeze, and get above freezing as you rise, then finally below freezing at high elevations. There must also be a sufficient amount of precipitation. If all of these factors occur at once, you may have an ice storm on your hands. If you identify these characteristics, you can predict an ice storm.
Since many low pressure systems make their home near the Gulf of Mexico, many ice storms occur in places like Mississippi, Alabama, and Missouri. Ice storms can also occur in the north where the weather can get extremely cold. These cold temperatures bring snow and freezing rain. Therefore, ice storms occur.
When do Ice Storms Occur?
Ice storms usually occur in winter, more specifically, December and January for the United States. This is obviously because they are typically the coldest months of the year. They will most likely occur during the coldest part of the day; sunrise.
How Long do Ice Storms Last?
Ice storms can last anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. Some extremely long powerful storms can knock out the power in places for days to weeks to even months. The length of the storm depends on the power and the power depends on how cold the weather is.
Are There Any Questions?
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