Tomorrow, two weeks to the day from the snow storm that dropped an nearly an inch of snow on our Fair City, we are primed to get nearly an inch of ICE!
Snow makes driving very problematic, but that won’t be our problem with the ice. Matter of fact the roads might not even freeze over because of their ambient warmth (bridges are a different story), but that kind of ice brings downs tree limbs, whole pine trees and power lines. That means no lights or heat and, cripes, no internet…
The Reichter magnatude scale is a number to quantify the energy that is released during an earthquake, there is a Fujita scale for rating tornado intensity and hurricanes have the Saffir-Simpson for a rating based on their sustained wind speed, but did you know there is one for ice storms as well? I didn’t either, until today, and it is called the SPIA Index.
The Sperry-Piltz Ice Accumulation Index is a scale for rating ice storm intensity, based on the expected footprint of an ice storm, the expected ice accumulation as a result of a storm, and the expected damage a storm inflicts on human-built structures, especially exposed overhead utility systems such as power lines. It goes from zero, minimal up to 5, catastrophic.
A band from say Atlanta, GA to Columbia, SC along the I-20 corridor is expected to get a Big Ol’ Four or a damage and impact description of “Prolonged and widespread utility interruptions with extensive damage to main distribution feeder lines and some high voltage transmission lines/structures. Outages lasting 5 to 10 days.” So if you don’t see any blog posts from me in a while you will know that the weather guessers got it right and it is not just me taking a Blogging Avoidance Holiday.