CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The freezing rain caused some slippery travel this morning but with winter we also see other forms of precipitation.
22News Storm Team Meteorologist Chris Bouzakis has the science behind how different precipitation is formed.
With winter we get all kinds of precipitation from, rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow. You name it, we see it.
Now how does it all form? Well lets start with rain, now no matter what thousands of feet above our heads their is always a column of air below 32 degrees allowing precipitation to fall as frozen moisture.
With rain, that frozen moisture hits a column of warm air melting into liquid water which falls as what we know as rain.
Now next is what we saw today, freezing rain. It is formed by precipitation falling as frozen moisture before hitting a pocket of warm air between the clouds and the ground melting into rain. As the rain hits the surface that is below 32 degrees it freezes on contact.
Next is sleet, starts the same way as frozen moisture before hitting a thin column of warm air and then re-freezing mid atmosphere falling as hard ice pellets.
And then there is snow, where the air temperature is below freezing from the clouds to the ground.