Types of Winter Precipitation

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In the winter, spring and fall, we can have all different precipitation types, let’s break them down. Rain is water falling from the sky.

We then have Freezing rain. Freezing rain is when water falls as rain, but then it hits a cold surface and freezes on contact. Creating a sheet of ice.

Next up we have sleet.  Sleet is when it starts as snow, hits a pocket of warm air in our atmosphere, making the snow melt to rain. Then as it continues to  fall it moves into cold air refreezing it. You can identify sleet from the pinging it can make on your car or windows.

Graupel, otherwise known as snow pellets, is snow that falls but then  supercooled water droplets forms around it. This makes it look like mini Styrofoam balls.

Supercooled water is water below our freezing mark of 32 degrees.  Graupel is often confused for hail but they are made differently in our atmosphere.

Finally we have snow. Snow forms from ice crystals in the clouds. Those crystals stay frozen and fall to the ground.

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