Yesterday it started to sleet during my daughters’ skiing lessons. They didn’t mind and kept right on skiing. But I heard a lot of other parents saying things like, “what the heck? why isn’t this snow? it’s cold enough to be snow!” As an amateur meteorologist I knew the answer was that while the temperature at ground level was cold enough for snow, the atmosphere above us wasn’t cold enough to create snow. As a parent who didn’t want to be “that guy” in the group, I just sipped my coffee with the other parents standing in the sleet. If you’re curious about the answer, I have a couple of quick video explanations for you to watch.
The following videos explain the conditions that create freezing rain, sleet, and snow.
Freezing Rain Explained is a video from the Weather Channel. The video includes a demonstration that science teachers could recreate with dry ice in their science labs.
The Difference Between Snow, Sleet, and Freezing Rain is a video from a news channel in my hometown. This video not only does a good job of explaining the differences, it’s also a good model for using some simple green screen effects to create an explanatory video.