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Old 01-24-2014, 03:02 PM
 
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I live in San Antonio so I am not used to driving in icy conditions. This morning we had sub freezing temperatures in the upper 20's combined with freezing rain, which left a lot of ice throughout the morning. It was not safe to drive, obviously. But I figured that by the time it reached at least 37 degrees it might be safe. But there were still icicles on the cars. And there were CRAZY falling icicles falling directly onto the roads from overhead poles. I saw this happen about 5 times while driving about 5 miles through some non-highway roads.

Does anyone have any information about this? How warm does it need to get before it is safe to drive? Above 40?

Thanks for any information.
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:14 PM
 
Location: South Jersey
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Although 37 is above the freezing point, it takes time to melt ice. Ice does not warm up as fast as the air around it does. Did they salt the roads there? That can make a big difference for sure. It doesn't sound like they did. If it's sunny, that could melt ice faster for sure, but if it's not, it still would take a while for ice to melt at 37F.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:24 PM
 
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The roads were salted, but that's not even the issue. I was wondering at what temperature the icycles finally melt away. All I know is that it's well above freezing.
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Old 01-25-2014, 05:26 AM
 
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Depends on various conditions, such as how much ice there is, sunshine, wind, etc. If it's overcast, it will take several hours for ice to melt in the low 40s.
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:22 AM
 
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I also notice something else, the first icicles I saw falling down, it looked like "falling water" even more than ice. So, perhaps the icicles were thin ice filled with water by that point?

I'm worried about them being heavy objects falling through windshields, which it appeared that some of them could have been yesterday.
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arctic_gardener View Post
Depends on various conditions, such as how much ice there is, sunshine, wind, etc. If it's overcast, it will take several hours for ice to melt in the low 40s.
Thanks. I was suspecting that after yesterday. Hopefully I can remember next time. We don't get a lot of these events in San Antonio.
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Old 01-25-2014, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
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What I'm curious about is why states down south don't use the same salt as we or the north do? Is it the budget/costs?

I understand tires aren't thought of down there but the towns should have backup salt in that event. Although salt is not effective below mid 20s.

And yes, sunlight and upper 30s will melt the roads. Keep in mind the wind from vehicles adds a little cooling effect on the roads so if they aren't treated ice could reform. Takes a while for ice to melt, it's not an instant thing.

My cousin works for DOT and said they installed road thermometers to keep tabs on the road temps (which differ from air temp)

For instance, it's 25°F here right now and snowing but everyone is out and about. Road temp is around 32° but add the treatment of salt and heat from vehicles and there's no chance for ice to form in those areas.

Tires make a HUGE difference in winter driving too. Hope you guys are safe down there.

FYI... Freezing rain is no joke and nothing to laugh about. I never thought I saw I-95 a sheet of ice. It was bad and we have overpopulation of people around here so traffic was insane. Temps were in the teens so no road treatment was helping and it was freezing rain falling. The worse kind of precip
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Old 01-25-2014, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Seattle area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambium View Post
Hope you guys are safe down there.
It's 68 and sunny there right now.
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Old 01-25-2014, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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There was spots of standing water on the edges of roads today, it was only about 10F/-12C but with bright sunshine. I've seen puddles a little colder than that, but not much. Sunshine helps a lot.
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
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Thought this was too ironic. Was just out while it was snowing lightly and the roads covered with snow and I saw Texas plates in front of me. Sorry for the blur (don't get dizzy) it was rushed.


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