What is Black Ice?

Black ice is the name given to ice that forms on roadways in one thin, clear sheet. This often results in the icy area looking simply wet or not noticeable at all until your car is already sliding off of it. Because of its deceptive appearance, it can create hazardous driving conditions as vehicles slide suddenly and unexpectedly over the icy patches.

Black ice forms when moisture collects on roadways that are still somewhat warm. This allows the water droplets to melt and form on solid sheet before lowering temperatures causing it to freeze, resulting in one solid, clear layer of ice.

More Weather Glossary

  • Hoar Frost

    After a cold, clear winter night without much wind, the ground and nearby tree branches may be covered by tiny, white ice crystals.

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This Day In Weather History

New York (1975)
Severe thunderstorms in western and central NY: lightning struck a city park in Rochester injuring 12 children, all were playing on a metal jungle gym. One patrolman described the scene as if "someone threw a stick of dynamite in the middle of the crowd and it blew."

Southeastern MA (1990)
Torrential rains: Middleboro 7.20" Bridgewater 5.00" Tauton 4.33" Abington 3.05" Cars were stranded in high water in Fall River, MA.

Phoenix, AZ (1992)
Between 4" and 6" of rain fell in locally heavy downpours.

Rough Weather