[Vocabulary] Ground surface icing

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englishhobby

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I have found 'ground surface icing' in a dictionary when looking for a description of the weather phenomenon when it's very slippery because the ground is covered with ice. Is there a shorter word to describe this weather condition?

For example, what word or collocation can be used instead of the ground surface icing in the following conversation?

- Is it cold out?
- Yes, and there's
ground surface icing. So be careful.

 

Rover_KE

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I don't suppose it's the same as black ice, is it?
 

Boris Tatarenko

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I'm quite sure that englishhobby is looking for this particular term. ;-)
 

Skrej

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"Ground surface icing" sounds odd to me. Usually we just say "It's icy", or "The road/sidewalk/ground is icy". The fact that it's slippery is implied in the warning of ice.

If it's especially slippery, you'll sometimes hear people caution you that "It is (very/extremely) slick".

'Black ice' is usually used as a warning for driving conditions.
 

GoesStation

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The phrase "ground surface icing" is used in aviation weather reports to distinguish it from flight-surface icing (i.e., ice forming on the flight surfaces of aircraft). In AmE, dangerous road ice may be called black ice, glare ice, or just ​ice.
 

emsr2d2

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I have heard weather forecasters in the UK say "There might be some surface ice" if they want to warn motorists about the potential conditions the next morning. I believe they are referring to what most of us still call "black ice". I'm not sure why the change in terminology came about - it's either that the forecasters use more "technical" terms or there's a chance that it's another example of political correctness.
 

Tarheel

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It's just ice. Frozen water.
 

englishhobby

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It's just ice. Frozen water.

So, if you know there's ice on ther street how would you warn someone who is going out?

1) Be careful! There's ice on the road.
2) Be careful! There's black ice/ glare ice on the road.
3) Be careful! ...?
 

SoothingDave

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"The streets are icy" is how I would put it.
 

Tarheel

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So, if you know there's ice on ther street how would you warn someone who is going out?

1) Be careful! There's ice on the road.
2) Be careful! There's black ice/ glare ice on the road.
3) Be careful! ...?

I would use the first one. Also possible:

Be careful! The streets and sidewalks are icy.

And I might add:

Be careful! It's the ice you don't see that will make you fall.

(I once drove us home on icy streets. I had to drive very slowly. (At one point I got a little impatient and almost hit a parked car.) (That was when we were living in St. Louis.))

(Ice is, of course, clear and has no color.)
 

emsr2d2

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We don't use "glare ice" (in the UK, at least).

I would say "Be careful. It's really icy out there!"
 

SoothingDave

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I've never heard of "glare ice" either. And the defining thing about "black ice" is that you don't know if it's there or not. So you have to say something like "watch out for black ice!" not "There is black ice out there."

If you want to be completely logical, that is.
 

emsr2d2

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Isn't saying "Watch out for black ice!" rather illogical given that it's invisible? ;-)
 

Tarheel

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I realize that it's a term some people use. However, it is totally illogical. Ice has no color. That's the problem -- you can't see it.
 

emsr2d2

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I wouldn't say it has no colour. Sometimes, it is clearly visible as a white layer. However, it's the ice you can't see on the tarmac that's the dangerous thing when driving.
 

GoesStation

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I realize that it's a term some people use. However, it is totally illogical. Ice has no color. That's the problem -- you can't see it.

Patches of black ice on an asphalt road look like the black patches of smooth tar that sometimes appear. Glare ice is the same stuff in different lighting conditions. I heard and used both terms when living in Michigan, a place where knowledge of road conditions can save your life.

By the way, these phrases describe ice that forms on bare pavement. The adjectives serve to distinguish such ice from the less insidious kind that freezes on a layer of compressed snow. That kind is a little less dangerous because you can see it better.
 
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