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ice storms: the facts

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megan hall

on 3 October 2013

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Transcript of ice storms: the facts

the dammage and effects
what ice storms effect in the environment.

root damage:
Ice storms can cause roots to break or begin lifting from the soil, which can in turn weaken your trees and cause them to topple.

Breakage
. The weight of accumulated ice can strain even strong trees. It can break a tree’s branches and even its trunk, compromising its structure and leaving it vulnerable to insect pests and disease.

Bent trees
. Smaller-diameter trees may bend under the weight of the ice. Given enough time to heal following a storm, many younger bent trees will straighten themselves out again.

what else?

Long-term disease risk:
If the ice breaks off or damages more than 75 percent of a tree’s crown, that tree is unlikely to survive. Decay fungi, insect pests and other infections can set in and destroy the tree over time.

New growth:
Due to reduced competition from surrounding trees, undamaged or only lightly damaged trees on the edge of a more heavily damaged area may actually increase their growth.

Increased wildlife habitat:
Any storm that breaks off branches or leaves larger woody debris on the ground can create new homes and nesting sites for some of the animals that live in your woods. But these piled-up tree limbs or debris can also pose a hazard to visitors or in case of wildfire.

how do they occur?
how does it occur?
Ice storms are basically a big freezing rain storm. As freezing rain begins to fall it forms coats of ice on the objects that it falls upon. The ice starts to accumulate and soon the weight of the ice upon tree branches, power lines, etc., becomes too much and they start to break.
Freezing rain only occurs in certain weather conditions. For freezing rain to occur there must be close to 100% humidity, with upward moving air to keep it that way. Also there must be three layers of air: one cold layer, near the surface of the Earth. One warm layer just above that. And one more cold layer, at the top, where the precipitation starts. It starts out as snow in the first cold layer, as it falls it hits the warm layer and melts into rain. It continues to fall and when it reaches the 2nd cold layer it starts to cool off again. It probably won't have time to freeze again before it hits the ground or an object, so when it hits an something that is 32°F or less, it freezes instantly.
where does it happen?
According to research at the University of Oklahoma, this sort of freezing rain which can produce ice storms is most likely to occur throughout the Appalachian Mountains in central North Carolina, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York, and the Columbia River Valley in southern Washington and northern Oregon. Ice storms have been known to also hit Oklahoma. Another common area for their occurrence is in New England, and Canada.
Two requirements for ice storms are extremely cold temperatures, and enough moisture in the atmosphere to produce sufficient precipitation. They often form when an area of low pressure moves eastward across the northern Gulf of Mexico.
In the United States, ice storms occur most often during December and January and near sunrise, which is usually the coldest time of the day.
Ice storms are relatively unknown in Europe, but they are occurring with increasing frequency by comparison to the past.


handling the damages
Ice storms can be one of the most dangerous and destructive winter weather events.
Even a thin coating of ice can result in a travel nightmare, while heavier amounts will severely damage trees and power lines. Strong winds can add extra force to already weighed down tree branches and power lines, increasing the likelihood of significant damage.

the capcaity of an area is very weak when this disaster comes about as it destroys everything it touches.however there are precautions that can be taken, the cars can be covered so then the ice is able to be taken off the cars eaiser, the roofs of houses are reinforced with steel underneath teh tiles to make them stronger and also people are advised to own generators in case of a power outage.
the capacity to cope
It is a hydormeterological hazard as it does not happen on land but in the sky although it does effect the land more.
what type of hazard is it?
the effect on human life
the effects onhuman life linked to this hazard are:
the buildings become unsafe as the weight of the ice
phone pylons are known to cripple under the weight, and also the cables are known to snap under the weight
roads and train lines are covered in a thick ice
schools are shut down
illness spreads, E.G. carbon monoxide posioning, from the fireplaces as the smoke is unable to escape.
planes are unable to take off and land
food shortages
water shortages
normal
ice storm
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