Temperatures never dropped below freezing Friday morning, so why are the roads icy? In fact, as I approached my car this morning, it was covered in rain. Not ice, but water; and that has to do with why all of this rain is freezing as it hits the roads. 

2019 has been a wild ride of temperatures. We started out the year in the 40s then quickly dropped to sub-zero temperatures across a good portion of Southcentral. As temperatures stayed below freezing, that cold crept into everything. Our cars stopped firing up at the turn of a key, railings bit back against the grip of a bare hand and the ground froze as solid as granite. 

Even though air temperatures have climbed back up above freezing, the ground is still cold. Those sub-freezing temperatures are a combination of our cold days, ice and snow. So as precipitation hit the Anchorage metro early Friday morning, it started out below freezing high up in the atmosphere. The frozen particles melted as they fell into warmer air down near the ground. Still, cold they froze easily as they came in contact with the still sub-freezing surfaces. 

This is the reason our cars was most likely covered in rain and not ice, but the ground below was slick and the roads were even worse. As temperatures warm through the day, the ice will stick around until that warmth translates to the surface. Cars driving along heavily traveled roads will cause the first melting of the ice on the roadways. But as temperatures quickly climb into the 40s the ice should start to melt.

However, the forecast still calls for rain mixing with snow Friday afternoon in areas. So either way, allow extra time and drive safe. 

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