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Ice storm, freezing rain turn city into frozen sculpture

Monday’s storm left trees, street signs, and bikes covered in ice

A mix of freezing rain and snow from Winter Storm Maya has created hazardous roads and impossibly slick sidewalks on Tuesday morning. While this isn’t great, an upside is that it’s turned trees, stop signs, fences, bikes, and other pieces of the city into magical ice sculptures.

Neighborhoods are coated in thin layers of ice making everything a bit different. The trees look like they’re holding white clouds, chainlink fences are distorted with bubbles of ice, and long, teeth-like icicles hang from Divvy bikes and street lights. Droplets even froze in puzzle-shaped blobs on someone’s window.

Interestingly, freezing rain happens when raindrops are supercooled after hitting a layer of freezing air. The water doesn’t have enough time to freeze before reaching the ground so it freezes as it makes contact with the trees, cars, or the street.

We know that Chicago winter can drag on and having to commute in the slushy, freezing rain isn’t ideal. But if you can, take a walk before the ice melts to see what winterscapes your block offers up. Otherwise, here are a few of our favorite photographs from this morning.