From the street - Slip Slidin' Away

When the temperature is around null (zero, the freezing mark, 32°F), this sign above Sõle tänav in Põhja-Tallinn lights up. Photographed through an icy tuule/klaas (windshield) while waiting punase tule taga (at a red light), it was mounted this past fall above the valgus/foorid (traffic lights) and jala/käijate üle/käigu/rada (pedestrian crosswalk) where crowds of kids cross to and from Pelgu/linna Gümnaasium (High School). Foto: by Riina Kindlam (2019)When the temperature is around null (zero, the freezing mark, 32°F), this sign above Sõle tänav in Põhja-Tallinn lights up. Photographed through an icy tuule/klaas (windshield) while waiting punase tule taga (at a red light), it was mounted this past fall above the valgus/foorid (traffic lights) and jala/käijate üle/käigu/rada (pedestrian crosswalk) where crowds of kids cross to and from Pelgu/linna Gümnaasium (High School). Foto: by Riina Kindlam (2019)

It hasn't been lit for ages, because conditions haven't been soodsad (favourable) for the teke (development) of jäide – it's been too cold. Until this morning, when the message board põles (was lit) once again. There's been an almost daily accumulation of värske lumi (fresh snow) this month, totalling 27 cm in Tallinn as of the hommik of 30. jaanuar. (Eesti lume/kaart, snow map: www.ilmateenistus.ee/ilm/ilmavaatlused/sademed/). But snow covered roads also mean paying special attention to your piki/vahe, that being the vahe (space) between you and the car in front of you. The 2 second piki/vahe rule in city traffic means the pikkus (length) of at least one car should comfortably fit between you and the car in front of you. (And at least 3 seconds on highways, depending on travel speed.) Hoia pikivahet! means keep/maintain a safe travelling distance between sõidukid (vehicles). Since "Kõige levinum liiklus/õnnetus on tagant otsa/sõit." – the most common traffic accident is a rear-end collision, so it can be said that piki/vahe on mõistuse mõõt – keeping a safe travelling distance between cars is a measure of common sense.

You know jää (ice) andjäääär (the edge of the ice). Jäide is a type of jää – a layer of jää, that develops on the ground or objects when rain or udu/piisad (droplets of fog) jäätuvad (freeze). Jäide tends to form when the air temperature is between 0 and -3 °C. On the ground it is also known as kiilas/jää and can be many centimetres thick. Kiilas in this context means slippery, smooth, shiny.

Depending on where you look, jäide is translated as glazed frost, glaze ice or simply glaze (not the one on a cake or cookie, that's glasuur). "Glaze, also called glaze ice, silver frost, silver thaw, verglas; especially British, glazed frost. A thin coating of ice on terrestrial objects, caused by rain that freezes on impact." (Dictionary.com)

Jäite/oht means there is a risk of glaze ice. When there is an oht (threat/danger), you hopefully receive a hoiatus (warning). Jää/vihm (freezing rain), can lead to the development of jäide. Must jää (black ice) is another dangerous ilmastiku/nähtus (weather phenomenon); it is läbi/paistev (transparent) and therefore difficult to detect. Ohutut liiklemist! Travel safe, arrive safe!


Riina Kindlam, Tallinn