32F / 0C

Dan Robinson

Above or below it makes all the difference! A couple of shots from this morning:

Snow line on Big Walker Mountain, Bland, VA:

Those warning signs at all the bridges aren't lying! Classic example of an iced-over bridge in Beckley, WV after light snowfall:
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Cool pictures. There was also some snow shots from North Carolina on TWC (yours?). I always think a well defined snow line is interesting especially on low mountains. Several years ago, I saw a snow line that crossed midway along a road cut on Afton Mountain, Virginia. The road and nearby surface was clear and the snow line was about 20 higher on the nearby hill.

Bill Hark

that 2nd image is amazing, thanks for sharing! I work as a superviser for road weather conditions for highways in my country and I've been looking for such images awhile ago. Really a great example that bridges or viaducts are much colder than other parts of the road.

Would it be possible that you post some more similar images if you have them?

Thanks Bill and Marko, it is really interesting sometimes to see the transitions when temperatures are hovering right around freezing. Once I dropped down to the Piedmont near Mount Airy, the snow quickly changed to rain. By the time I got to Raleigh it was in the mid 50s! There were some cool scenes in NC but unfortunately I didn't get to capture any from there.

Icy bridges by far are the biggest winter weather hazard because they contain the element of surprise. The rest of the roads are completely clear, so everyone is driving at full speed when they encounter the bridges. It is very easy to lose control at high speeds. Once the rest of the roads cool and become snow-covered, drivers tend to slow down and this lessens the danger from the bridges. Even worse is freezing rain (black ice), when the bridge will ice over but will look the same visually as the rest of the roads.

I should have taken more shots of the bridges yesterday as there were plenty of good examples of this. Here are a couple more:



This phenomenon is just like tornadoes and other severe weather in that many people discount the danger and aren't prepared for it. Wrecks are virtually guaranteed on icy bridges because people have no awareness of the danger and are not slowing down in advance! This is particularly true in areas that don't see a lot of winter weather, like the southern Plains and the southern USA. Beckley is a mountain town with people who are very accustomed to snow and ice, so I usually see very few wrecks here. Back in Charleston, just 1,700 feet lower in elevation, it is another story.
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Interesting... there's a bridge near where I live that does similar on the rare occasions that it snows (always in marginal conditions here). Get a snowline on the hills here in the right conditions too... yet we're only talking about a few hundred feet between hill tops and valleys. Naturally I live as high up as possible! ;)
Here's some interesting "snowline" photos from my trip in Yellowstone a couple months back in mid-September... these are actually in the Beartooth Mountains just northeast of Yellowstone:



Mike U
Beautiful shots Mike... your gallery is impressive too. Might have to take a look at using that software on my site... just need the image quality to match! ;)
Fantastic photography Dan and Mike; captures the feeling of winter.

Lastnight I turned my heater on for the first time this season, and woke to gray wintery skies and chilly air. Snow is expected at 6,500 tonight. Now it feels like winter (desert winter).