Sunday, January 20, 2013


One bit of weather I don't remember from Britain, but we see here occasionally, is Black Ice (verglas).

Formed instantly when rain falls on hard-frozen ground, it can develop into a skin up to maybe 1cm thick and is VERY slippery, especially while rain is still falling.
No amount of skill can make driving reasonable on black ice, unless you have spiked tyres, which are rare outside mountain areas.
Even walking is extremely risky & best avoided, especially for brittle crumblies.
Don't even think of cycling!

Well today, as forecast, we woke up to black ice & were thankful that we didn't have to go to work.
The only immediate inconvenience was that the morning paper had not been delivered at it's usual 05:30, for the first time in 25 years.
Trusty Marcel turned up with it later, wearing neat strap-on studs under his boots!

Black ice usually occurs when a warm front moves in after a very cold spell, so that the ice gets melted again after an hour or 2 by the new warm air.
But today it managed to rain while the ground-level air temperature has not gone above -1°C & is now falling again for the night.
So the ice has not melted all day & the forecast is for snow to fall on it.
Should be chaos on the roads tomorrow...

Parting thot: "You never really know your friends from your enemies until the ice breaks" - Eskimo proverb

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