Black ice could threaten Southeast after 'bomb cyclone' passes

PHOTO: Omar Elkhalidi uses a wood shim to scrape ice off his windshield that accumulated overnight from freezing temperatures, Jan. 3, 2018, in Savannah, Ga. PlayStephen B. Morton/AP Photo
WATCH Winter 'bomb cyclone' hits the East Coast

Parts of the Southeast will be faced with a new weather threat as the massive "bomb cyclone" moves away from the East Coast and frigid temperatures arrive in its place.

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Officials are warning residents in the South of the possibility that black ice will form overnight as wind chills in the teens reach as far south as Jacksonville, Florida Friday morning.

PHOTO: Map showing Friday wind chill forecast for the east coast as of Jan. 4, 2018. ABC News
Map showing Friday wind chill forecast for the east coast as of Jan. 4, 2018.

Black ice occurs when liquid freezes on a black roadway. The ice is completely clear, so it's difficult for motorists to distinguish the difference between a wet roadway and slippery ice.

PHOTO: Two Savannah Chatham Metro Police officers set up a barricade in front of a bridge that was closed due to ice on the road, Jan. 3, 2018, in Savannah, Ga. Stephen B. Morton/AP Photo
Two Savannah Chatham Metro Police officers set up a barricade in front of a bridge that was closed due to ice on the road, Jan. 3, 2018, in Savannah, Ga.

Black ice tends to form first in the shaded areas of the roadway and on bridges and overpasses that freeze first and melt last, AAA National spokeswoman Jeanette Casselano told ABC News.

PHOTO: Shebuel Fenster slides along an ice covered street in Savannah, Georgia, Jan. 4, 2018.Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Shebuel Fenster slides along an ice covered street in Savannah, Georgia, Jan. 4, 2018.

It takes a vehicle nine times longer to stop in ice and snow compared to clear conditions, Robert Sinclair, spokesperson for AAA Northeast, told ABC News.

While salting can help prevent black ice from developing, the effectiveness of the salt goes down once temperatures hit below 20 degrees.

Chatham County in Savannah, Georgia, one of the government entities in the South whose offices will reopen Friday, cautioned employees returning to work of the possibility of black ice on their morning commutes.

PHOTO: Ice forms on the water fountain in Forsyth Park, Jan. 4, 2018 in Savannah, Ga. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Ice forms on the water fountain in Forsyth Park, Jan. 4, 2018 in Savannah, Ga.

The temperature in Savannah will drop to 18 degrees overnight, which will refreeze the ice that melted during the ice, according to a press release from the Chatham County Board of Commissioners.

PHOTO: Vehicles commute southbound on the Garden State Parkway in whiteout conditions during a snowstorm, Jan. 4, 2018, in Eatontown, N.J. Julio Cortez/AP
Vehicles commute southbound on the Garden State Parkway in whiteout conditions during a snowstorm, Jan. 4, 2018, in Eatontown, N.J.

Black ice is not an immediate concern for the Northeast, since the snow is not likely to melt with the low temperatures in the coming days, Sinclair said.

However, regular ice in the Northeast will be likely, as plow blades will not be able to penetrate the black top due to the temperature, making it difficult to clear the roads, Sinclair said.

"Motorists need to drive cautiously throughout the winter," Jennifer Post, spokeswoman for the New York State Department of Transportation, told ABC news.

PHOTO: A tractor trailer lays on its side after running off of he road during a snow storm, Jan. 4, 2018, in Georgetown, Del. Mark Wilson/Getty Images
A tractor trailer lays on its side after running off of he road during a snow storm, Jan. 4, 2018, in Georgetown, Del.

AAA tips for driving in winter weather

  • Do not tailgate. Normal following distances of three to four seconds on dry pavement should be extended to a minimum of five to six seconds when driving on slippery surfaces. The extra time will provide additional braking room should a sudden stop become necessary.
  • Never use cruise control on slippery roads. If your vehicle hydroplanes or skids, you will lose the ability to regain some traction simply by lifting off the accelerator. It will be harder to recover from the loss of traction if cruise control is active
  • Slow down and adjust your speed to road conditions. Accelerate, turn and brake as gradually and smoothly as you can.
  • Don't slam on the brakes. If your car begins to skid, continue to steer in the direction you want the car to go. Slamming on the brakes will only make your vehicle harder to control.
  • Use extreme caution on bridges and overpasses.
  • Watch the traffic ahead and slow down immediately at the sight of brake lights, skidding cars or emergency flashers.
  • ABC News’ Daniel Manzo and Rachel Katz contributed to this report.

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