Potential black ice may appear as snow melts and refreezes

Melted snow on untreated roads will refreeze and create black ice

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The snow is done, but what melted has the potential to re-freeze as the temperatures plunge, creating the possibility for hazardous black ice.

Today’s Forecast

Common places to find black ice include bridges, overpasses, and even your front steps. A weather advisory for freezing rain and freezing drizzle is in our area, which can create dangerous conditions for drivers.

Melted snow on untreated roads will refreeze and create black ice.

Adam Strzempko, WWLP Meteorologist said, “Well what black ice really is, is when you have water on the ground and temperatures are below freezing, that’s when everything freezes up and ices up. So what you think is wet, is really ice. So if you’re walking or driving, it’s really slippery when you encounter black ice.”

Deborah Dooney of Westfield said, “We came around a corner and hit some black ice and we were heading straight into a car, head on, and all of a sudden it just turned. Thank God. It could be very dangerous.”

More than 1,300 people are killed in crashes on snowy, slushy, or icy roads every year. 22News saw crews treating roads with salt, but unsalted roads, combined with cold temperatures and wet roads, can create one of winter’s most dangerous conditions.

Lt. Jay Pitoniak of the Westfield Police Department said “And that’s a big problem with black ice, is that people will hit their brakes full and they’ll try to overcorrect with their steering and they’ll just continue to go in that straight line and crash.”

Here are a few tips in case you encounter black ice:

  • Keep your steering wheel straight. Turning your wheel, can cause you to slide or lose control of your car.
  • Never brake. Hitting the brake can make your vehicle slid or worst, you can lose control.
  • Take your foot off the accelerator to reduce speed.

22News Storm Team Meteorologist Jennifer Pagliei said that with temperatures warming up throughout the day Sunday, icy surfaces shouldn’t be a concern by Sunday afternoon.

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