Black ice and snow in the south
Thursday, January 7, 2010
I had originally planned to drive across Tennessee through Nashville and Knoxville, but my new plan was to drive directly north as quickly as I could get. The satellite images confirmed that this made sense. Much of the precipitation had already moved east of the route I plan to take, even though there was now snow everywhere around on the ground. The woman in the motel said they rarely get snow there, and when they do, it doesn’t last.
I began driving north, but soon I realized that the roads were covered in black ice. I drove slowly as did other traffic, and at several points it was so bad that I put on my flashing lights and slowed right down. There were many cars in the ditch, and I even passed a few overturned trucks, including one oil truck that had overturned right on the highway. This continued for all while, but the road gradually improved as I got into Missouri. At one rest stop there was an information booth and the woman there had a computer with full weather map information. The sky was blue, but you could see from the map that it was snowing hard just east of there. She said the snow had been falling there up until about an hour earlier. It seemed that by taking the route I did I’d managed to go around the back of the storm.
When I reached Effingham, Illinois, I had to turn eastward, and it didn’t take long until I had driven into the storm. The snow got heavier and heavier, and the roads got worse. When it started to get dark, I thought I’d better stop for the night rather than continue through the storm in the dark. So I got a motel at Cloverdale, Indiana, to the west of Indianapolis.