I wasn’t around the Alleghenies on Christmas Eve, instead, I was back home near Pittsburgh. We tend to have similar weather (with the exception of an occasional elevational event). I went out on Tuesday night to watch the Penguins game and was driving back home from a friends house around 1:00 AM. Most of the main roads were pretty good on my way home, but the side streets were a little dicey. I was on the highway getting ready to get off the exit going pretty close to speed limit when I started to slide. I found myself heading straight into the ‘exit’ sign just to the left of the offramp…
Luckily, I was able to correct myself quick enough to get back onto the highway (not the way I wanted to go, by the way). I had to correct a couple more times before finally getting the car straight and back onto the highway. On my way home, the cop was on the opposite side of the highway. I looked and there was a car over the hillside. I did eventually make it to the next exit and manage to get home safely, but it was slick!
Around here was no different, we had numerous reports of accidents across the Alleghenies because of Tuesday night/Wednesday’s ice.
The National Weather Service in State College filed a report about the ice storm and it was pretty detailed. Check out the graphic below to see how long the freezing rain stuck around into Christmas Eve. Some places saw over 1/2 of a day of freezing rain, making holiday travels a bit difficult.
If you want to see more about this storm, you can visit the NWS’s website. I’ve included the link to this story. You can get to it by clicking here.
You should definitely check out the last graphic on the page. It’s called a skew-t chart and does a good job at showing the temperature at different layers in the atmosphere. The bottom is the surface temperature and the higher you go on the graphic, the higher you go in the atmosphere. If you check it out, you’ll see that the surface temperature was very low while the temperatures above it were warmer. They’ve pointed that out on the graphic, as well.
So, did you run into any problems on Christmas Eve (or the night before)? Leave your horror stories below!
…and Merry Christmas!