Black Ice Threats - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Black Ice Threats

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Most people would have sworn Texoma was hit hard by a winter storm Monday morning. The roads were icy and many schools canceled classes, but there was no snow. The roads were covered by a thin layer of black ice.

Black ice can make the roads extremely hazardous. Black ice is clear and nearly invisible. "It is virtually undetectable. You could look down at the road surface standing still and not see the ice," said Skywarn 6 Meteorologist John Cameron.

Black Ice forms from a combination of temperatures below freezing and moisture.

"Once you start getting to 27, 26 or even colder then that's when the air's temperature starts affecting the roads more than the ground's temperature," said Cameron.

The grounds temperature is usually warmer than the actual air temperature above it, which is why ice does not always  form on roads when temperatures are right at freezing.

The black ice that formed Monday morning was due to mist. It does not need to rain for black ice to form.

"We typically can't see drizzle coming with forecast models. It's not picked up by weather radar. I don't even think you can classify it as a drizzle. It was more of a mist," said Cameron. 

There is a way you can check for the potential of black ice before you leave your home. Cameron said if it is misting or drizzling you should check your car's thermometer. If temperatures are in the mid 20s or below, there is potential for black ice.

James Parish, Newschannel 6