Car Exhaust Creates Black Ice On North Dakota Roads During Arctic Blast


We here refer to ourselves here as “North Dakota tough” and it’s mostly because of the extreme cold we brave on a normal basis. But this latest outbreak is a little different and is interrupting life for many here in the Peace Garden State.

We take cold seriously, but viewers are still having fun with it. This photo has gotten quite the social media attention. This bank in Minot, North Dakota posted a photo of their sign when the temperature gauge malfunctioned and read minus 196. This would be a world record!

It’s the wind chills we’re bracing for. Some areas in the east Tuesday evening are around 50 below. We have a forecast for 60 below wind chills. The highest impacts of the arctic air look to be impacting the eastern part of our state the most.

A hidden danger many of us have never seen before is black ice from car exhaust pipes. The North Dakota DOT has sent out a warning to travelers. Especially in highly traffic areas. The temperatures are so cold that the moisture that is in the exhaust hits the ground and freezes into an invisible ice.

Since the vast majority of our state is rural, good travel conditions are helpful. This artic air has been accompanied by strong wind. Blowing snow has reduced visibility so much that we have has Winter Weather Advisories.

We see Wind Chill Warnings all the time in the Winter here. We have a lot of outdoor work with a large oil patch and a lot of ranchers. While they aren’t immune to the cold, they’re the most prepared for these types of events. This is even impacting those who work inside. Many students have more than a 10 minute walk to class and we have a hospital downtown where workers park far away. In the time it takes for them to get from their car to the building, frostbite can begin if they aren’t properly covered.

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