Frank L. Holloway of Silver Spring offers some comments on my column about the hazards of driving in the snow.
"It reminded me," he wrote, of a question my wife asked recently: "How come when the road is icy and the temperatrureis between 10 and 20 degress, I have no trouble getting up the grade; but when the temperature is around 30, I can't make it?'
"The difference is that between warm ice and colder ice. The difference it makes is due to the fact that under pressure ice has a lower melting point, and when it is (temporarily) melted it provides a film water which a good lubricant. Ice skaters have a difficult time of it when it is really cold, but for the auto driver real cold ice is easier to drive on than 'warm ice.'
Frank, your wife was making the same point I tried to make. But under no circumstances are you going to lure me into a discussion of freezing pointe and melting points, or the effect that pressure has on them. I have made an honest effort to understand the scientific aspects of therephenomena, but they elude me so I'll just take your word for them.
All I know about your so-called warm ice versus cold ice is what I have observed over the years. In those parts of the country where the temperature stays below freezing for long periods and snow is underfoot for most of the winter, it is theso great problem for drivers. But in an area like ours where the temperature often hovers around 32 and there are many thaws and freeezes, snow and ice can be a big pain in the neck, or wherever else youhappen to land after you slip and fall.