Ice Storm

As you can imagine, after three weeks in Hawaii (more blogs about that to follow, I promise!), coming home to a Canadian winter was quite a shock to the system. Especially when the weather had an extra treat for us this weekend, a present from Texas, apparently.

Ice from Texas... who knew?!

Ice from Texas… who knew?!

Most people get the totally wrong impression when you talk about freezing rain. They think of sleet, something somewhere between rain and snow, or perhaps hail. “I’ve seen freezing rain loads of times,” they say. But genuine freezing rain is something far more rare, and much more dangerous. You need very particular and unusual conditions for freezing rain.

We all know that the higher you go, the cooler it gets. But on very rare occasions this can be partially reversed. Even more rarely, the layer of air closest to the ground can be below freezing, while the air higher up is above freezing. In such extraordinary conditions, any rain falling from the warmer upper level into the colder lower level, instantly turns to ice the moment it touches anything. This is freezing rain. And it produces a sheet of slick, treacherous ice on everything… roads, cars, roofs, trees… even on animals and people, if they’re caught out in it!

Ice coating the mulberry in our front garden

Ice coating the mulberry in our front garden

In addition to the obvious slipperiness that comes with everything being coated with ice, there are the hazards associated with its weight. After all, an inch or more of ice weighs an awful lot, and can easily bring down tree branches and power lines. Today, the whole of southern Ontario is littered with downed trees. And over the weekend, tens of thousands of homes (including that of my friend Phyllis) lost electricity. In fact, crews are still working hard to restore power to a few thousand.

Everything got coated with ice

Everything got coated with ice

The big sugar maples in the back yard

The big sugar maples in the back yard

By these standards, the storm’s effects on this little Giraffeses were relatively minor. Yes, it stopped us going to a Christmas party in Ohio with friends, but at least we’re safe. Yes, we lost contact with the outside world (phone, internet and cable) for a few hours on Sunday, but at least our power stayed on, so we remained warm throughout. And yes, some of the trees in the back garden took a bit of a beating, but nothing that time won’t heal.

One of the broken branches on our Manitoba maple

One of the broken branches on our Manitoba maple

The break

The break

The willow is in even worse shape, and may have to be chopped down

The willow is in even worse shape, and may have to be chopped down

All in all, I have a lot to be thankful for this Christmas… and some exciting news for all of you who enjoy Rich’s Jaspa’s Journey books. So stay tuned!

The ice can be pretty, though

The ice can be pretty, though

Below is a video of the ice falling off the trees in the back garden in the wind:


About Jaspa

Jaspa's Journey is a series of award-winning, travel-based adventure novels for strong middle grade readers by Rich Meyrick. Join the Adventure! Read the books! Follow Jaspa’s ongoing Journeys at Let's explore this amazing world together! And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
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10 Responses to Ice Storm

  1. ailsapm says:

    Hey Jaspa, hope you and your family had a great Christmas. Stay warm, little buddy! xxx Ailsa

  2. Its really beautiful in a scary sort of way. Any 360’s?

    • Jaspa says:

      It’s a shame about all the trees, but it was very pretty. (A bit like Snowmageddon in Connecticut a couple of years back!) Except for popping outside to take some photos, we stayed indoors for the duration, so no vehicular acrobatics from Rich this time around.

  3. Jean says:

    It really is pretty when it happens. I don’t think I ever really thought about the atmospherical conditions necessary to provide it. Love the video.

    We just got back from a treacherous drive up to St. Vincent in the uppermost northwest corner of Minnesota. We had to stop in Fargo, North Dakota for the night, as the winds made visibility and roads impossible except for the very brave, and even some of them landed backwards in the ditch. And in at least one case, upside down! I’m so glad we stopped.

  4. Crazy!! Ive never heard of freezing rain before – stay safe!

  5. frizztext says:

    red fruits packed in ice …

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