Always something

Just when you thought it was safe to take to the highways, along comes the dreaded black ice, known for its transparency, You see black pavement and believe it to be good to go, when suddenly there is a thin layer of clear ice. YIKES!

Here's the definition I found on Wikipedia.

Black ice, also known as "glare ice" or "clear ice," typically refers to a thin coating of glazed ice on a surface, often a roadway. While not truly black, it is transparent, allowing the usually-black asphalt/macadam roadway to be seen through it, hence the term. It is unusually slick compared to other forms of roadway ice.

Because it contains relatively little entrapped air in the form of bubbles, black ice is transparent and thus very difficult to see (as compared to snow, frozen slush). In addition, it often is interleaved with wet road, which is identical in appearance. For this reason it is especially hazardous when driving or walking because it is both hard to see and unexpectedly slick.

Bridges and overpasses can be especially dangerous. Black ice forms first on bridges and overpasses because air can circulate both above and below the surface of the elevated roadway, causing the pavement temperature to drop more rapidly. This is often indicated with "Bridge May Be Icy" warning signs.

Black ice may form even when the ambient temperature is several degrees above the NTP freezing point of water 32°F (0°C) if the air warms suddenly after a prolonged cold spell that leaves the surface of the roadway well below the freezing point temperature.

The term black ice is sometimes used to describe any type of ice that forms on roadways, even when standing water on roads turns to ice as the temperature falls below freezing. However, this use of the term black ice is not included in the American Meteorological Society Glossary of Meteorology.


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