Pat Shingleton: "The Worst Glaze Event..."
Geophysical Research Letters reported that trees aren’t dependent on rain for survival. Despite the lack of rainwater, a forest in the Dhofar Mountains of Oman survive by utilizing moisture from occasional fog. Years ago, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology determined that the forest is a “water-limited seasonal cloud forest” where moisture from passing clouds and ground fog seeps into the ground and stays until it is needed. The only threat to this unusual forest is the camels that graze in the area. These beasts traditionally consume large amounts of foliage that could stunt the trees’ ability to absorb the moisture. Your friends and relatives in west Virginia and Pennsylvania may be experiencing a wintry mix today. Glaze is a coating of transparent ice that forms when super-cooled water droplets hit roads during below-freezing weather. Glaze is heavy, sticks to objects that it coats, contains no air bubbles and appears clear and smooth like glass. When freezing rain hits a cold object, glaze can layer several inches thick causing dangerous driving conditions. The Great Southern Glaze Storm of 1951 occurred at the end of January and was one of the most destructive in history. It covered the South in a sheath of ice that was 100 miles wide from Louisiana to West Virginia and remains as the costliest winter storm on record with an estimated $100 million in damage. It exceeds all other single storm damage except for hurricanes.