Sunday, 16 December 2012

Ice Ice....

My son reports the recent freezing weather led to an 'interesting accident' at the end of his road.

It'd been -6 C the other night, which led to ice-rink roads and freezing rain. Freezing rain is where water rises and falls within clouds, forming hail stones. Eventually, they become heavy and fall as hail. However, if they pass through a warm layer of air on the way down, they melt, and begin to cool as they fall further.

Often they become super cooled. That is, they remain liquid, but cool below freezing point. That's where they come a problem. Falling on an already frozen surface, in this case -6 C, they instantly turn to super-cooled ice.

Super cooled ice doesn't respond to salt or gritting. Makes things worse, because below -2 C the salt and grit form a layer of slippery material on top of roads and pavements already covered in a slick, glossy layer of ice as hard as steel.

Thar y'go! :)

So. A car slid into a tree at the end of my lads road. A Fire Engine from a station a couple of hundred yards/a minute away slid on the ice, hit the car already embedded in the tree and turned it into an accordion.

An emergency response medical vehicle arrived quickly afterwards, and while sliding on the ice, managed to avoid hitting the car and the fire engine, but hit a lamp post. Two other cars swerved to avoid the paramedics, went waltzing across the road, hit each other and a wall.

The lamp post was left at a precarious angle, but the tree had to be felled.

No injuries reported, but blimey, try explaining that to your insurance company.

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