Winter Precipitation: An Explanation

 

 

 

 

Freezing Rain/Sleet/Snow: An Explanation

With significant ice expected over much of Texoma, it seems like a good time to discuss why it’s likely to be mainly in the form of freezing rain and sleet instead of snow.

To get snow, the air at cloud level must be at or below freezing so that ice crystals may form and fall towards the ground. What will be happening with this event is more typical for this area: a very shallow layer of cold air with wet and warmer air above. The air temperature at cloud level is well above freezing, which means rain falling into sub-freezing air near the ground. These super-cooled rain droplets then freeze on contact with the ground. This is freezing rain.

When the cold air is just a bit deeper, the drops freeze before hitting the ground and we know this as sleet.

I have included the graphic above which I hope helps!

Take Care…and please be careful during this icy mess.

Steve LaNore

Chief Meteorologist

KXII-TV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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