Bubbles develop under Wednesday's slushy mess

After snow, sleet and freezing rain, multiple bubbles developed under slush

ROANOKE, Va. – Temperatures Tuesday night and Wednesday have hovered right around the freezing mark, which led to a wet snow and also a mix of sleet and freezing rain.

Beneath all of that, however, you may have noticed a lot of bubbles underneath the slush. This is something I've not seen many times before. I have to be honest with you; I was quite stumped as to how they form.

So, I reached out to some colleagues who offered their opinions. These colleagues are Ken Weathers from WATE in Knoxville, Paul Gross from WDIV in Detroit and David Reese from CBS 19 in Charlottesville.

What we all started to come around to was that the warmth of the ground played a role. Keep in mind this is a theory and perhaps not a proven explanation. 

As the snow fell and accumulated, the warmth of the ground caused it to melt into water. However, shortly after the snow, we had freezing rain and sleet. As that ice laid over the snow, the melted bubbles became trapped beneath the layer of ice/slush.

The one thing that's great about meteorology is the fact that we can all still learn. It's an inexact science, and can still throw curveballs (or curvebubbles) our way.

If you've seen these bubbles, be sure to send us a picture. 

About the Author:

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.