CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Ice is one of the hardest types of winter weather to forecast. It's also one of the most dangerous. A thin coating of ice can cause big issues on the road. After a busy weather week across the country, ice is once again in the spotlight, so let's talk about how much ice it takes to cause big problems.
One-tenth of an inch of ice will cause slick spots on some roads and walkways. Think of one-tenth of an inch as a light glaze.
A quarter-inch of ice can cause big problems, causing tree branches to snap and powerlines to fail. Bridges and overpasses are especially dangerous.
A half-inch of ice will absolutely cripple a city or town. This much ice will cause widespread tree damage as well as long-lasting power outages.
Keep in mind, ice can increase the weight of branches by 30 times. So, a half-inch of ice can add roughly 500 pounds of extra weight on power lines. A quarter-inch of ice can add roughly 250 pounds of extra weight.