Frozen LSU Lakes and Glaze...

January 30, 2018

January 29, 1966, found the mercury slipping to 20 degrees for the coldest daytime high for the date.  On January 30, 1966, it dropped to 15, setting another record.  The true freezing point of water is known as the ice point and in 1966 the final days of January found the daytime highs staying below the freeze or ice point. Years ago I worked with an engineer, John White, who filmed a frozen City Park Lake. I used the video in the 70s and 80s to commemorate the date showcasing many Baton Rougeans donning their ice skates for the skating extravaganza. Our recent episode of freezing rain, ice pellets, ice and snow also prompted episodes of glaze. Glaze is a smooth coating of transparent ice that forms when super cooled water droplets hit walls, trees, roads and other objects during below-freezing weather. Glaze is heavy and sticks to objects that it coats. Containing no air bubbles, it appears clear and smooth like glass. When freezing rain hits a cold object, glaze can layer several inches thick. This causes dangerous driving conditions on highways along with broken poles and power lines. The Great Southern Glaze Storm of 1951 occurred at the end of January. It was one of the most destructive storms in history, covering the upper and middle South in a sheath of ice 100 miles wide from Louisiana northeastward to West Virginia. It still remains as one of the costliest winter storms on record with an estimated $100 million in damage. It exceeded all other single storm damage for the area except for hurricanes.

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