People are always using the term "Black Ice" during ice/snow storms.  But what does it mean and how dangerous is it?

At a glance:

  • Black ice is a thin coat of transparent ice.
  • It can lead to hazardous driving conditions.

According to The Weather Channel:

The most basic definition of black ice is a thin coat of highly transparent ice. The reason it is transparent is because it blends in with road pavements since it is so thin, making it nearly impossible to see. It's called black ice since it looks black, like the color of the road pavement it forms on.

What causes Black Ice:

Black ice occurs when the temperature rises after a snow, it will melt and cause roadways to be wet.  When the temperature drops below freezing while the streets are still wet, ice will form on paved surfaces.

Black ice can also form if the air temperature drops below freezing during a dew or fog.

Why is it so dangerous:

Black ice is transparent, which means it looks like the road.  You won't notice it until it's too late.

Roadways become very slippery, this will lead to hazardous driving conditions and an increased risk of car accidents.

Here are some driving tips for the DOTD:


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