Ice Storms Audrey, Jennifer, mayRa

What is an ice storm?

Ice storms is a storm of freezing rain that leaves a coating of ice. It mostly occurs in December and January.

What causes an ice storm?

Ice forms when freezing rain accumulates on surfaces and the ground. Freezing occurs when air warmer than the freezing mark above the ground moves over subfreezing air near the ground. When snow aloft falls through the warmer layer it melts into rain. Then, as the rain droplets fall into the shallow layer of subfreezing air, the droplets freeze upon contact. This creates a glaze of ice.

How Often Do Ice Storms Occur?

Ice Storms occur annually through North America. When they occur most common in: Oklahoma, Columbia River Valley, New York, New England, Pennsylvania, Canada, Virginia, and the Appalachian Mountains. When they happen 1/4 of an inch or more of ice accumulates. Extreme regional conditions occur every 10-20 years. In January 1998, 4-10 North American ice storms occured (NE US and SE Canada).

Impacts from Ice Storms

Car Damages, Structual Damage, and Tree Damage. Transmission Towers can topple. When a quarter-inch or more of ice builds up, severe impacts can result. Ice can increase the weight of tree branches up to 30 times and can add 500 pounds of extra weight to power lines. Consequently, tree branches, power lines and power poles can fall. Black ice can also occur when ice storms come through causing more accidents to occur on the road than before.

How Ice Storms Affect Trees

Trees often fall becuase of several reasons. One is decay in the branches and then the ice weighs them down then they snap. A tree can also fall becuase it is dead and gets pushed over by the wind. If trees have a shallow root base or if their roots are somewhat exposed they're likely to fall over too. A tree may only loose its branches if they aren't supported.

How Ice Storms Affect People
How to Prepare for Ice Storms

You need to make sure flashlights and battery-powered radios are working, and keep extra batteries, candles and matches on hand. Unplug sensitive appliances such as the TV. If the power goes off, turn off all major electrical appliances. Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. If you lose power, frozen food will generally keep for 48 hours. Discard perishable food that has been at 40 degrees for more than two hours. If you use an emergency-heating source such as a wood stove, kerosene heater or fireplace, keep fuels away from the flames and ventilate properly. Never leave a fire unattended. If it seems likely that your home will be without heat for several days, drain your water pipes. Create a family disaster plan and practice it regularly. Learn and teach others in your family how to turn off electricity, gas and water. Store extra blankets and warm clothes where you can find them easily. Layer winter clothing to trap body heat. Keep emergency telephone numbers with you. Have a first aid kit on hand. Stock up on drinking water and canned or dried foods. Be sure to include a non-electric can opener with your supplies. Have at least a week's supply of prescription medications on hand. Fill your car with gasoline. Have cash available.

Annual Expenses on Ice Storms

From 1949-2000 there has been a total of $16.3 billion dollars in property losses. In 1998 in NE America and SE Canada there was a total of estimated $6.2 billion dollars spent. Over 40 poeple died in the ice storm and 4 million people were without power. In Indiana 2009, there was a total of $11 million in power outages repair.



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