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Freezing Drizzle In Colorado

Understanding Freezing Drizzle

This evening could present some risk for freezing drizzle, particularly in southern Colorado. But what exactly is freezing drizzle, and why does it happen?

Freezing drizzle occurs when super-cooled water droplets in the atmosphere encounter surfaces at or below freezing temperatures. These droplets freeze upon contact, creating a thin layer of ice. The difference between freezing rain and freezing drizzle lies in the term “super-cooled,” which means these water droplets remain liquid even though the air around them is below freezing.

The Perfect Recipe: Upper-Level Trough and Low-Level Saturation

This week, a closed low pressure system made its way from the Great Basin to the Northern New Mexico area. The system brought in slightly drier air in the mid-levels which increased the possibility for low-level saturation, leading to the possibility of freezing drizzle.

In addition, the overrunning of a warmer air mass with colder temperatures at the surface enhanced these odds, particularly in Colorado Springs and Pueblo.

The Impact on Roads: Tread Carefully

Freezing drizzle poses a significant challenge for road conditions. The resulting ice layer can make roads slippery and dangerous. Even a small amount of freezing drizzle can lead to icy patches, making it crucial to exercise caution.

Roads, especially untreated surfaces, become susceptible to a phenomenon called “black ice” – a nearly invisible, thin layer of ice that camouflages with the road, catching unsuspecting travelers off guard.

Conclusion: Stay Weather-Wise Whenever freezing rain is in the forecast, it’s essential to stay weather-wise and be prepared. For more information on how you can get personalized forecasts from Skyview Weather, contact us at [email protected].