UTAH (ABC4) – Black ice, a problem many of us have experienced after a snowstorm or just wet and cold weather. But with how dry Utah has been, how are we still seeing black ice?
Well with leftover snow melting during the day and the cold overnight lows refreezing everything at night, many areas are seeing the effects of that as icy patches and primarily why it is only occurring the morning hours.
“It usually happens in the early morning hours sometimes before the sun comes up and warms up the road. When it’s right at that freezing point, that’s when you see the risk of black ice at its worst,” says John Gleason, Public Relations Director with the Utah Department of Transportation.
While the slick spots are most common during the morning hours once things have refrozen, some spots can have those icy conditions last longer in the day during the right conditions.
“Especially in the canyon areas, you can be driving in areas that don’t see a lot of sunlight. Maybe it’s behind the mountains in the shade and any bit of moisture that’s out there in the air can quickly bond to the road surface and create what we call black ice,” explains Gleason.
As we have another quick moving winter storm expected to move across parts of northern Utah during Monday night and Tuesday morning these slick spots are expected to return again. So, driving with caution will be important, not just for the morning after but in the following days as well.
“It can be a little deceiving because even if you hadn’t had a snowstorm in the last few days there are still icy patches out there. Whether it’s the moisture in the air that just bonds to the road or snow patches that melt during the daytime hours and then freeze up again at night, you have to drive with caution,” says Gleason.