Question: What is sleet?

Answer: As a winter weather system moved through today it brought many different precipitation types; this had some of you wondering why we see sleet.

Here is how some of those precipitation types form:

Snow: Precipitation falls as snow when the air temperature is below freezing throughout the atmosphere. This means the temperature profile is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit all the way aloft to the ground.

Sleet: Sleet occurs when snowflakes partially melt after falling through a warm layer in the atmosphere. They then refreeze as they reach a deep-freezing layer of air before hitting the surface.

Freezing Rain: Freezing Rain occurs when snowflakes hit a deep layer of warm air and then melt completely. They do not have enough time to refreeze from liquid water drops after falling through a thin layer of cold air above the surface. They then re-freeze on surfaces that are at or below freezing temperatures.