Bitter cold weather moved into the Carolinas on Christmas day of 1992 and held for several days aided by a persistent north wind. During the evening hours of December 26 those winds close to the ground turned to the northeast as a storm formed in southern Georgia. Meanwhile higher in the atmosphere the wind turned to the south and increased, bringing warm air into the region several thousand feet above the ground level. Still the winds the at surface remained northeast and kept cold air holding with temperatures in the 20s in the lowest several thousand feet. Colder air is more dense and heavier than warm air and has to retreat and is not pushed out of the way by light warmer air which is forced to rise up and over the cold air. This situation played out across the Carolinas on December 27, 1992, As the storm rolled northward rain broke out across the region – but because temperatures were below freezing at the ground the rain froze on everything. Soon ice covered all surfaces and caused tree limbs and wires to come down and turning highways into skating rinks. Hundreds of thousands lost power and, in some places, it took more than a week to restore electricity.
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