Rare Arctic Climate

Arctic Clime, Polar Times

A true taste of the North Pole has invaded the region as this Deep Freeze, 3rd act, plays out for another day or so.

With skies clearing late on Tuesday night, the stage was set for the coldest night of the winter. In fact, that could classify as the coldest night of the still young 21st century should the air temperature drop to 5 below in the River Cities of Huntington-Ashland-Ironton and Charleston.

There will be two truly North Pole phenoms to marvel out on Wednesday morning if you travel along rivers. An eerie arctic sea smoke that will rise like a fog from our major rivers. Like you and I breathing into a cold air mass, our rivers will exhale into the bitter air resulting in an spooky sea fog.

Of equally spectacular renown, a rare coat of rime ice will coat trees that flank the Ohio, Big Sandy and Ohio Rivers. This surreal deposition of ice on trees will result from the super-cooled air that hovers over our rivers. When that air comes in contact with the trees, it will condense into an ice much like frost does on a car windshield.

I first saw the rime ice on Christmas morning in 1989 on a 10 below morning. As I made the trip down 20th street toward downtown Huntington, the trees above the river in Chesapeake appeared to be shimmering from their new coats of silvery ice!


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