What temperatures are too cold for salt to melt the ice on the roads?

This winter storm causing huge problems for drivers on the road. At times like these, it is important to know a few things about the weather and at what point salt doesn't even melt the ice.

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Michigan drivers constantly have to keep an eye on the weather and temperatures when hitting the road during the winter season. As most of us know, when the temperature hits the 32 degrees Fahrenheit range, things can get dicey real quick as that is the freezing point of water.

Many Michigan drivers have adapted to this and know that salt trucks will be out to fight the ice that forms on the roads. However, salt can only do so much. As the temperatures drop, the rock salt's effectiveness also drops.

Technically, rock salt will work all the way up until the temperature reaches -6 degrees Fahrenheit. However, as it gets colder, the ability of the salt to melt the ice also diminishes. When it comes to salting the roads, the term "practical working temperature" comes into play. The "practical working temperature" is considered to be anything warmer than 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit.

If it is 30 degrees out or higher, one pound of rock salt can melt around 46 pounds of ice. On the flip side, if it is 1 degree out, that same pound of rock salt can only melt around four pounds of ice.

Bottom line is that even if you see the salt trucks out when it is super cold, the roads can absolutely still be icy. Be careful out there.

Source: Cargill.com

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