• Ice on metropolitan and suburban roads leads to the most disastrous consequences for those who drive. Always pay attention to the daily weather forecast and use public transport in inclement weather conditions. It is extremely important f your driving experience is less than 5-7 years and if you don't have the extreme driving skills

  • Stay away from the houses in the streets during thaw after heavy snowfalls to avoid injuries from ice sliding off the roof. Carefully look at the roofs for icicles and choose the side of the road instead of sidewalks

  • Glaze ice is a rare natural phenomenon. The sidewalks are very slippery, and the trees and power lines might break due to the heavy ice crust on them. Be careful and use public transport instead of driving

  • Usually airplanes are covered by special substances protecting the fuselage from icing. However, the edges of aircraft wings are defenseless. Snow clouds put the aircrafy under additional risk. They consist of tiny droplets of water that spread out over the fuselage and reduce aerodynamic capacity of the plane, which might lead to severe accidents

  • In the sea, ice poses threat not only for the vessel transition. During storms, splashes of water cover the vessel with a thick crust of ice, which in some cases might lead to sinking. Annually, about 10 cases are registered in the world. It might happen in the seas with higher humidity, like the Sea of Japan or the Sea of Okhotsk

  • Icing on power lines is no less dangerous, because cable weight increases several times. This might lead to rupture of the cable itself and even to the collapse of high-voltage lines. Modern overhead power lines are equipped with special anti-icing systems, but still are prone to specifically inclement weather

  • Snowstorm is not only unpleasant, but also dangerous. Reduced visibility leads to significant growth of road accidents rate. Pedestrians also are facing harsh times, since a strong wind might carry heavy objects along with snowflakes

  • Avalanches have destroyed several villages in the Alps and in the mountains of Alaska (USA). The most terrible avalanche descended at Austrian-Italian border in the Alps. Hundreds of tons of snow in a matter of seconds buried several settlements leading to 265 casualties

  • Black ice is dangerous not only for humans. In the late fifties in Yakutia it led to death of nearly all of reindeer, the main companions of local people. When the soil surface is covered with a thick layer of ice, the deer can not reach moss, major source of nutrition for reindeer in winter. Besides, the animals fall down, get injured and freeze to death in the bitter frost

The Winter Has Come:

The Most Dangerous Forms of Water

When water changes from the liquid state to a solid one, it can not be the source of life. It becomes quite the opposite, or at least could cause severe injuries. As a meteorologist would determine it, this happens when the average temperature drops below zero degrees Celsius. Or, to be even more precise, right now, in the winter here, in moderate latitudes. It's not that we want to scare you, so take this article as a warning and be careful.

Ice. If the frost hits right after a major thaw, roads and sidewalks resemble long tracks for speed skating. The only difference here is, we'd say, you are not wearing skates to get to work, right? Moving along slippery roads is a tough challenge both for pedestrians and drivers. A snowbreak could cause black ice as well. As you might know, the ice is not really black, it's transparent, so you can see black road coating underneath it. It is a common situation, when liquid showers fall on snow during day, and at night temperature goes slightly below zero Celsius.

Black ice should not be confused with glaze ice, a rather rare phenomenon in moderate latitudes during winter. It occurs when ground temperature is significantly lower than the temperature of clouds. Low-hanging clouds produce rain droplets instead of snowflakes, that easily turn into ice pellets filled with water on their way down. As they hit the ground or any other obstacles, such as trees, road signs or benches, thin crust of the pellets breaks, and the water splashes out, instantly freezing and forming an ice glazing.

In late October 2010, this rare natural phenomenon almost paralyzed the life of the Russian capital, Moscow. Local airports were close, car accident rate increased by dozens of times, and trauma centers were crowded with people with broken limbs, bruises and sprains from falling on slippery sidewalks. There were also significant problems were with electricity, since several overhead power lines didn't make it with heavy ice glazing on the conductors. Many trees and scrubs of Moscow parks and gardens were broken as well.

Snow. Blizzard as is is not really dangerous, and in some ways it could be nice and cozy, if you're sitting by the window observing fluffy snowflakes gently hitting the ground. However, when a cyclone is raging for several days in a row, and is accompanied by heavy snowfall and strong wind, it could severely harm the life of a city. Such events are quite common for the residents of the Far-Eastern region of Russia. Maritime climate is responsible for mild and humid winters, but the Pacific brings typhoons several times a year. As the typhoon passes through the city over two or three days, the life stops. Visibility drops to several centimeters ahead, strong wind breaks trees and tears overhead power lines. Residents of towns and cities hit by such cyclones are not allowed to drive, since the snow is being flattened by armored carriers provided by the military. Besides that, it will take you at least a day to dig your car out of a snow layer up to two meters thick. Blackouts are also quite common after major typhoons, until the railways used to bring fuel oil and coal to the power stations are cleared.

Two-meter snowdrifts are so typical for the residents of the island of Sakhlin and Primorsky Krai in the Far East of Russia. But whenever a powerful cyclone brought extremely heavy snowfall to St. Petersburg and its surroundings in December 2009, it took the local authorities by surprise. The traffic was paralyzed, because even the main streets and avenues turned into narrow love paths in the snow. The most popular and scarce commodity sold in local stores was the snow shovel, and people were close to killing their neighbors if the latter ever dared to occupy their parking spots thoroughly cleaned from the snow.

As stated by meteorologists, the number of dangerous weather phenomena has grown significantly over the past decade. The reason is global climate change, for which everyone of us is responsible. The only way to avoid the possibility of being washed away by flooding or be covered with snow and ice is to change your attitude. Don't waste resources thoughtlessly and treat nature with care!

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