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Snowflake Shape Can Add To Slippery Road Conditions

December 31, 2013, 6:17 PM by Brian Karstens

Snowflake Shape Can Add To Slippery Road Conditions

You may have heard the saying, "No two snowflakes are alike".  While most of us don't pay attention to the shapes of snowflakes, the structure of those tiny crystals is one reason why the roads are so slick in spots.

Another snowy day in KELOLAND has left a fresh coating of slippery road conditions, which is just part of the winter routine in this part of the country.  But the types of snowflakes that fall can really make a difference in the type of driving conditions we experience. 

Snowflakes are typically in a hexagon shape, but that shape can change as temperatures cool, resulting in a more needle-like structure.  In fact, there are many types of snowflake shapes from solid prisms to hollow columns and plate and they all leave a different environment depending on the temperature. 

Lately, the snowflakes have been more needle shaped and are good for extra compaction and slippery surfaces.  The snowflakes can even melt a bit under the heavy weight of your car tires, adding to those "greasy" conditions on the roads.  Plus, in temperatures near zero or below, normal road chemicals don't work well, so the options to deal with the snowfall are limited.  It all adds up to the traditional challenges of winter in KELOLAND.

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