There’s Rain, and then There’s FREEZING Rain!December 28th, 2009 by Matthew Leach
The effects of freezing rain glazing and icing up everything it touches
It’s great to be back! After a long, 14 hour road trip from Salt Lake City to Silverdale, we made it home safely. Of course, me being the weather addicted nerd I am, I wasted no time logging on to my computer and checking the latest forecast discussions from the NWS (I swear…weather is so addicting, if my family members caught whiff of a Weather Anonymous group, I’d be doomed).
In the NWS discussion last night, this sentence popped out at me:
“WE WILL NEED TO MONITOR THE HOOD CANAL ZONE OVERNIGHT IN CASE A FREEZING RAIN ADVISORY IS NEEDED”. Freezing Rain Advisory, huh? I have never seen that before, though I know there have been ice storms here in the past. We have rain in the forecast all the time, but not FREEZING rain!
Freezing rain, in simple terms, is rain that falls when temperatures are below freezing. But how can that happen?
Typically, it will start out as snow in the upper levels of the atmosphere until it enters a layer of warmer air, causing it to melt and produce plain ol’ rain. If there’s enough cold air trapped at the surface, however, this rain then becomes supercooled (the state at which a liquid or gas is below its freezing point without it becoming a solid) and then freezes whatever it touches (below freezing) on impact.
So you can imagine, freezing rain really isn’t all that fun. It falls like normal rain, but when it goes through the “supercooling” phase at the surface, it causes many problems. Ice glazes the roadways or any objects left outside that are below freezing. Ice storms look cool, but they are downright dangerous and messy.
So waking up this morning to sunshine and semi-mild temperatures made me release a big sigh of relief, because if it’s going to precipitate AT ALL below freezing, it might as well just snow!
Well, I have a list of things to do today. The extended forecast is below, so take a look and plan your week accordingly!
Questions? Comments? E-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org