Is Freezing Rain Dangerous?

Rain is a phenomenon enjoyed by people everywhere around the world. If you live in countries with heavy rainfall, you are likely to encounter certain issues you might face with road safety and other health concerns.

There are different types of rain depending on where you reside. It is in your best interest to be aware of the kinds of rain you should look for as they might be dangerous.

Freezing Rain is considered dangerous. Because of this, when the rain makes contact with the ground below or at freezing point, it freezes instantly. This can cause issues with road safety and endanger the lives of many. 

But do not worry! This article will serve as a guide for you to understand what you particularly need to look out for and what you can do to avoid any danger to yourself and others.

When Freezing Rain Happens

If you are located in an area where temperatures reach the freezing point or fall below the line, you must ensure you are aware of the hazards of freezing rain. This kind of rain occurs at or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (or 0 degrees Celsius).

When this type of rain makes contact with the ground or other solid objects, it freezes on impact. When these layers accumulate, they may cause accidents as objects might slip over them. These layered objects will also increase in weight which can, for example, cause trees to collapse making travel extremely dangerous.

Freezing Rain vs. Sleet

As discussed previously, freezing rain occurs when droplets do not have the time to freeze before they hit the ground causing them to freeze on impact. Sleet, however, occurs when freezing air is thicker causing the droplets to freeze midair.

They accumulate on the ground and freeze over causing the same issues freezing rain would. Sleet occurs between 33 degrees fahrenheit and 1 degree celsius. However, the layer formed is thinner than it would with freezing rain.

Problems to Look Out For

Freezing rain can be extremely dangerous and, in worst case scenarios, cause loss of life. However, if you know what to look out for you can avoid coming in contact with these issues. Here are some things you can keep in mind when dealing with freezing rain.

Dangerous Roads

Traveling in such weather conditions is not recommended as the roads will be extra slippery and can cause real and terrifying damage to motorists, drivers, and even pedestrians. It would be in your best interest to stay home when these roads’ conditions are unpredictable.

Fallen Trees

If you are going to be outside when or after freezing rain occurs, you need to ensure there are no fallen trees in your area or on the route to your destination. Trees can often fall over as their weight to them is increased to accumulate freezing rain.

Look out for any blockages on your route, as fallen trees can cause major accidents. Avoiding them in the moment may be tough as there is a chance the road will be very slippery and not work well with quick decisions while driving down a road.

Toppled Utility Poles and Towers

If poles have been damaged, they could have active electricity running through the wires that will be dangerous to human life especially if direct contact is made. Make sure to avoid these fallen poles and evacuate to a safe area.

The power may be out for days in case the poles need to be fixed. It could be a while before they’re up and running again. So stay indoors and avoid traveling on these dangerous and slippery roads.

What to Do During Freezing Rain?

Now that you know what problems can occur during freezing rain, here is what you can do in order to avoid getting hurt. All you need to do is read the following few headings so you and your loved ones can remain safe and out of harm’s way.

Stay in the Loop

One of the first things you must do is stay informed about the weather conditions around you. To do this, you must look at weather warnings and updates that will be shared on your local news channels. Ensure you are informed and know what routes to avoid to stay safe.

Stay Off the Road

The best thing you can do to ensure the safety of yourself and your loved ones is stay indoors. It is better to be safe than to risk getting stuck on the road during a storm. Keep your loved ones close and ensure everyone is at their respective homes, staying out of harm’s way.

Have Emergency Kits Ready

In case of a storm, it is in you and your loved one’s interest to have an emergency kit on standby. This kit should be able to sustain your family for at least 72 hours in case of a major emergency. It should include all necessities such as food supplies, water, medical kits, as well as cash in case the ATMs are out of service.

Reporting Freezing Rain/Emergencies

In case of an emergency or in order to report freezing rain in your area, you can contact the National Weather Service (NWS) and give them the following details:

  • The time you noticed and measured the ice
  • Your specific location
  • The time freezing rain began
  • Dangerous weather and road conditions in your area
  • Damages to any power lines or trees in the area

Conclusion

Freezing rain is the most dangerous type of precipitation to exist. It is best to avoid going out during a storm and stay indoors instead. Ensure your loved ones are safe and that you contact the National Weather Service immediately in case of an emergency.

Look out for fallen power lines, trees, and dangerous road conditions. It is better to be safe than risk the safety of you and your loved ones.

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