Breakdown: Why cold weather phenomena causes traffic problems in the Mid-South

Breakdown: Why Cold weather phenomena causes traffic problems in the Mid-South

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Several major interstates and highways were closed or blocked because of accidents on Wednesday morning. This was due to a process called deposition, where gas (water vapor) turns directly into a solid (ice).

If a surface is cooled below the dew point of the surrounding air and the temperature is below freezing, ice will form on it. The surface must be cooler than the surrounding air, which explains why ice mostly formed on bridges and overpasses.

Bridges and overpasses can freeze faster than flat roads because cold air can cool it above and below due to it’s raised structure.

Several cars were piled up near Walnut Grove and Humphries Boulevard Wednesday morning.
Several cars were piled up near Walnut Grove and Humphries Boulevard Wednesday morning.

This was the scene this morning on Walnut Grove at Humphreys Blvd where at least 23 cars were involved in a multi-vehicle accident.

Try to take it slow on bridges and overpasses especially on cold clear nights, even when there is no visible precipitation.

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