Watch out for “black ice” tonight.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday. Thankfully, we had great weather for travel across much of the country today and certainly here in Wisconsin. It was a beautiful day with a high of 45 degrees. That was much warmer than the last two days that struggled to reach freezing. The warmer and more moist air may actually cause a problem tonight.

If you have driven on some side roads tonight, you may have noticed a very thin almost invisible layer of moisture/ice on the pavement. You may have even slipped a little walking or in your car. That layer of ice is known as “black ice”. This can be  very hazardous to walking and driving. The thin layer of ice is difficult to see, but can still send your car into a skid or worse. You also must be careful walking because of the slippery conditions as well.

I took a picture of the “black ice” on our parking lot here at WISN-12. Forgive my bad picture-taking with the iphone, but you can see the “ice” parts in the picture surrounded by the areas of just moisture. The areas of biggest concern are areas that were shaded all day. They will be colder than surrounding areas. Watch out on rural roads tonight.

We have the perfect weather conditions that leads to “black ice”. Because of the cold weather the last few days, the ground is now much colder and with the clear skies early tonight, the temperature near the surface cooled quickly. This actually created some condensation to occur as the surface cooled to the dew point which is sitting right around 35 degrees.  As the temperatures cooled a little more, the moisture began to freeze. This is what is creating the slippery conditions. Please use extra caution on the roads tonight and Monday morning.

Once the sun comes out tomorrow, the roads will be fine. Watch out for rain tomorrow night. More on that in tomorrow’s blog and our snow chances for the weekend.

Thanks for reading and be careful.

Mark

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2 Responses

  1. Could we have a decent snowfall of 4-8 inches this weekend? The European model has us in the sweet spot for snow.

    • Bryan,

      I’m watching it closely. GFS coming around on this. Looks like our best first chance of measurable snow.

      Mark

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