Snow and ice that paralyzed a good portion of eastern South Dakota was preceded by another winter weather phenomenon: freezing fog.

Knowing that lots of people are either just getting their power back or still without after last weekend’s ice storm, this diatribe may lean on the molehill side of mountain status. However, in this part of the country it’s just another stop on the wheel of weather.

A recent road trip included a night time run to return home. It was on the heels of a recent weather system that dropped some snow and some rain across Iowa and Minnesota. A fresh snow the week before meant at the surface of the earth a lot of moisture was trapped. The chill set in which produced thick fog.

The pea soup was only extended a few feet into the air for the sky overhead was visible and stars twinkling down. However when driving, the field of vision would dwindle down to a few hundred feet at times.

With many miles to go, a little relief came with a semi-truck where the driver sat high enough to see over the top of the fog to some degree. Using that beacon, the pace got a little quicker.

My boldness faded once I realized that ice was building up on the nose of the vehicle and the radio antenna. At times a chunk would fly off and hit the windshield as a reminder that very possibly the surface below could have a slippery texture as a result.

A normal four-hour trip got extended to six hours. Though as you can tell, I lived to bring you the story as the shards of ice about three-quarter inch thick eventually fell out of the grille.


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