What is freezing rain?
Freezing rain is rain that freezes on contact. This time of the year the precipitation starts off frozen but melts because of warm air aloft. Freezing rain starts off frozen but it melts as it falls through warm air (air above 32 degrees) until it reachs the cold air (air below 32 degrees) at the surface then freezes. The pocket of cold air at the surface is very shallow and thin not allowing the rain to freeze in free fall. The rain freezes into ice once it makes contact on a cold surface.
What makes freezing rain so dangerous?
Freezing rain looks like normal rain so it can be very deceiving. Freezing rain can turn roads into sheets of ice very quickly. The ice is not easy to spot on roads which makes it very easy to lose control of your vehicle.
Wednesday’s Weather Setup:
Wednesday morning a warm front moved into Central Pennsylvania and brought rain to the region. Warm air moved in but only in the higher elevations. The warm air aloft and cold air at the surface set us up perfectly for a freezing rain event. Roads quickly became icy and slick across the region causing several accidents.