A large ice storm is taking place across the southern US and into Canada. The ice storm could lead to widespread power outages and travel hazards. This article will discuss what happened during the ice storm and how it is impacting people.
The National Weather Service defines a winter ice storm as a storm that produces at least a quarter-inch of ice on exposed surfaces. This type of storm is different from snow because ice accumulates on top of other precipitation such as rain, sleet, or snow. Ice storms develop when there is a layer of warm air between two layers of cold, freezing air near the ground. The precipitation that falls from the warm layer melts as it falls through the cold layer but quickly refreezes upon contact with the surface below freezing, creating a glaze of ice.
This ice can cause severe damage. The heavy weight of ice increases the stress on tree branches and can easily snap them or break them off of trees, making trees fall down. Power lines can be snapped as well, leading to prolonged power outages.
The best way to prepare for an ice storm is to keep an eye on local weather forecasts and warnings. Make sure to stock up on supplies, including food, water, and first aid items. It is also important to clear away any debris that could fall and damage your home or block a driveway or road.