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Freezing rain events: a major weather hazard in the conterminous US


Freezing rain (FZRA) is well documented as a major weather hazard, producing damage to structures, the environment, and humans, and delaying various operations such as transportation. Assessing the risk of freezing rain events requires information for various areas of the nation about the frequency, duration, and intensity of these events along with the associated weather conditions that affect the damage caused by freezing rain. This includes temperatures (dry and wet bulb), the amount of precipitation, and winds during freezing rain. The purpose of this work was to develop a national and regional climatology of freezing rain events in the US for the period of 1928–2001 to addresses these conditions.

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United States


Freezing rain


First Order Station


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Climate Database Modernization Program


Local Standard Time


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We would like to thank Daniel Graybeal from the Northeast Regional Climate Center and the National Climatic Data Center’s Climate Database Modernization Program for providing us with the pre-1948 hourly data used in this project. We also thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions. Portions of this research were supported by a grant from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, as part of the Climate Change Enhanced Data Set Project, NA16GP1585. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA or NASA or any of their sub-agencies.

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Correspondence to Tamara G. Houston.

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Houston, T.G., Changnon, S.A. Freezing rain events: a major weather hazard in the conterminous US. Nat Hazards 40, 485–494 (2007).

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  • Freezing rain
  • Freezing rain events
  • Associated weather conditions
  • Regional differences