Freezing rain

From Academic Kids

Freezing rain begins as snow falling from a cloud towards earth. It melts completely on its way down in a layer of warm (above freezing) air and then supercools in a small layer of cold air just before it impacts the surface. Due to it being supercooled the water freezes again upon impact.

Ice storms often cause major power outages. The ice will accumulate to thicknesses of several inches. Power lines coated with ice become extremely heavy, causing support poles, insulators and lines to break. Tree limbs, with branches heavily coated in ice also can break off under the enormous weight and fall onto power lines. The ice that forms on roadways makes vehicle travel nearly impossible. Unlike snow, wet ice provides almost no traction. Vehicles will slide on even gentle slopes. One particularly severe ice storm struck eastern Canada in 1998.

See also: hail, sleet, ice storm, wintry showers

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