Image: NOAA Aqua MODIS satellite imagery
The Great Lakes region was hit by a fast-moving weather system, called an Alberta clipper, delivering ice and snow at the onset of the New Year.
Alberta clipper weather systems are common enough be named. They typically pass through in late-fall and winter, delivering quick bursts of ice and snow, accompanied by high winds.
The most recent Alberta clipper brought ice and light snow to parts of the Great Lakes on December 31, blowing eastward out of the region on January 1.
“The system initially produced areas of freezing drizzle across the Upper Midwest, leading to slick roads that triggered several crashes as drivers were caught off-guard by the patches of ice,” reported Fox News.
Most affected areas struck by the rapid system received an inch of snow or less, although some mountainous areas in Appalachia may have received as much as four inches of snow.
Despite the light precipitation, high winds associated with the clipper system created hazardous driving conditions, as the blowing ice and snow reduced visibility and made the roads slick.