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December 15, 2007 Mount Magazine Ice Storm

We recieved 1.10 of rain at my house with the temperature being at 33 degrees for the majority of the time so I figured that Mount Magazine (being over 1000 feet higher than my location - 1600 feet) would be iced over. We hit the ice line at about 2000 feet and the ammount of icing increased quickly. Most places on the eastern sides of the mountain above 2000 feet had about .50 of ice but some localized areas had as much as 1.00 of ice. Several trees and limbs were brought down but most of the trees were left without damage since they are already stunted and are quite use to the harsh conditions. One thing that was interesting was the very localized coverage of the ice. Coming up HWY 309 from Paris we hit the ice at just over 2000 feet and going down the other side of the mountain the ice did continue to about 2000 feet. At the visitor center there was about .50 of ice but within only 1/4 of a mile (down the mountaintop highway that leads to the lodge from the visitor center) there was no ice at all. From there all the way around the loop and past the lodge there was no ice at all even though the elevations are actually higher than that at the visitor center and from the highest ice values just north of the visitor center. I can only guess that this localized effect was do due to slightly drier air that was being advected in from the northeast. At the time of the icing overnight the winds were easterly and the lower dewpoints that were being advected in helped the temperature just dip below freezing (through evaporation). The western side of the mountain was protected from the easterly winds and was likely just barely above freezing.

The Ice Line showing ice in the tops of the trees

The visitor center

A felled tree with 1.00 of ice accumlation

1.00 of ice from the top of felled tree