07 Mar Freezing Rain Coats UK Roads
Road surfacing contractors may be in for a busy spring following the freezing weather conditions that have affected our roads and railways over the past week.
The Beast from the East certainly lived up to its name as it covered the entirety of the UK in a blanket of snow and ice in the last week of February.
One of the most dangerous aspects of the weather was in fact the cold, which lead to a phenomenon called freezing rain, which was much more widespread this past week then it has been for a very long time.
The West of England, Wales and the Midlands were the most affected by freezing rain, which bought transport systems to a halt. Freezing rain is so called as it is hitting air and ground that is so cold when it hits it that it is super-cooled and goes solid almost instantly.
A spokesman for the Met Office said: “Freezing rain tends to start its life as snow, ice, sleet or hail, but passes through a layer of air that’s above 0°C on the way down to the ground, melting into a liquid water droplet.
“When these super-cooled droplets strike surfaces that are close to or below freezing, they freeze on impact forming a glaze of ice.”
This is particularly dangerous on roads as drivers cannot see it and can unwittingly drive onto it and lose control. It can also have a deleterious effect on road surfaces, so keep your eye out for potholes when this weather starts to thaw.