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Wendy's Journal
Random scribblings...
The Ice storm 
4th-Dec-2010 07:22 pm
Christmas buttefly 01
BRITAIN UNDER ICE AND SNOW




Great Britain seen from the weather satellite...

As all my British LJ friends will be well aware, we are suffering under a weight of snow at the moment, with the exciting promise of yet more on the way...hurrah !! We obviously haven't had nearly enough...

At Gatwick Airport they gathered a work-force of one hundred people together and cleared 150,000 tons of snow from the runways, after 12" of snow fell from the sky -  8" of which fell in just one night !!

As we are still digging our trains out from under, and trying to battle through to work amid the twin monsters of several feet of snow underfoot and no information forthcoming from the beleaguered train companies, while you are waiting in the freezing cold for a train that isn't ever going to come...do spare a thought for the countries that have it worse than us !! I know this is cold comfort, but at least we don't ever have the pleasure of...



THE SCIENCE BIT - HOW AN ICE STORM OCCURS :-

An ice storm is a type of winter storm characterized by freezing rain, also known as a glaze event, or in some parts of the United States as a silver thaw. The U.S. National Weather Service defines an ice storm as a storm which results in the accumulation of at least 0.25-inch (0.64 cm) of ice on exposed surfaces. From 1982 to 1994, ice storms were more common than blizzards and averaged 16 per year in the US.

VERSOIX, SWITZERLAND 2005...







Photos from the ice storm in Versoix, on the shores of Lake Geneva back in 2005 - so it's not just the US that suffers these storms...

The freezing rain from an ice storm covers everything with heavy, smooth glaze of ice. Ice-covered roads become slippery and hazardous, as it causes vehicles to skid out of control, which can cause devastating car crashes and pile-ups. Pedestrians are severely affected as side-walks become slippery, causing people to slip and fall, and outside stairs can become an extreme injury hazard.

 

In addition to hazardous driving or walking conditions, branches or even whole trees may break from the weight of ice. Falling branches can block roads, tear down power and telephone lines, and cause other damage. Even without falling trees and tree branches, the weight of the ice itself can easily snap power lines and also break and bring down power/utility poles; even steel frame electricity pylons have been sent crashing to the ground by the weight of the ice.
This can leave people without power for anywhere from several days to a month. According to most meteorologists, just one quarter of an inch of ice accumulation can add about 500 pounds of weight per line span. Damage from ice storms is highly capable of shutting down entire metropolitan areas.

More pics from the Versoix storm...





and one from Washington...with the same problem !!



I guess you can consider ourselves lucky that we only have to dig our cars out of the snow in the UK...

However...

Despite all the mayhem that these storms can cause, the resulting ice phenomena is, it has to be said, absolutely stunning...imagine, everything seperately encased in sparkling ice - crisp and frozen, shiny and outlined in glass...the sound is also breath-takingly beautiful, filling the air with the sound of leaves tinkling against each other, as the wind blows through the ice-encased branches...


A weeping willow frozen in motion...



The lakeside bollards and chain-fence all frozen up ...



A toffee-coloured sunset the following day - all the ice starts to melt...



Seperately frozen pine needles bend with the weight of the encasing ice...



A beautiful Lazuli Bunting, not very impressed with the fact that he will have to crack open breakfast...



Wind-blown and somewhat wiggly icicles...



Another unhappy little bird, not very pleased with the larder arrangements...



A whole range of bird food, all frozen solid...









A grassy tussock delineated in glass...



A pine-cone encased in ice...

 

An ice-cast made from a leaf...



Even a spider's web doesn't escape...



Ornamental cabbages in their field...



This last picture is a bit of a mystery - how did the ice sheet get stuck half way up the tree-trunks ??






It amazes me, and makes me very thankful that we don't get anything like this level of harsh Winter hassle and mayhem - but at the same time I wish that I could have the chance to take photographs like these, maybe just once !!

With many thanks to all the kind and talented photographers who have uploaded their amazing pictures to websites everywhere, so that we can share in their beauty !!
Comments 
6th-Dec-2010 06:13 am (UTC)
Mech,
Aren't they fab pics ?!! They were too good to resist...
I've never seen an ice storm first hand, as they are so rare in the UK, but I know they are relatively common in the States...weather conditions have to be so exact, and I think the fact that Britain is a small island surrounded by the warm Gulf Stream makes a big difference although the big ice storm in 1940 which I detailed in one of my replies above, proves that we can get them sometimes !!
6th-Dec-2010 02:13 pm (UTC)
I showed your pics to my husband and he said that storm was famous. Here's a shot of a recent ice storm here, not nearly as dramatic, but still beautiful (and destructive):

Photobucket
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