StormTeam Winter Precipitation

When it comes to Heartland winters, you can see many different forms of precipitation.  This will give you an explanation of what some of the different types of precipitation are.

Freezing Rain - Freezing rain is caused by rain droplets that freeze on contact with the ground or objects near the ground, leaving a frozen glaze. The temperature of the ground must be below freezing, and the rain droplets must exist in a liquid state at temperatures below freezing for freezing rain to occur. Freezing rain can glaze roadways with ice causing extremely hazardous driving conditions. Bridges and overpasses typically freeze more quickly than other surfaces and are particularly dangerous.

Sleet - Sleet falls to earth as ice pellets. These ice pellets are formed as snowflakes melt into raindrops as they pass through a thin layer of above-freezing air. The rain drops than refreeze into particles of ice as they pass through a sub-freezing layer of air near the ground.

Snow - Snow is frozen precipitation in the form of six-side crystals. Snow is produced when water vapor is deposited directly into o airborne particles as ice crystals, which remain frozen as they fall. When temperatures remain below freezing from the cloud to the ground, snow results.

  • Blowing Snow can be snow that has already fallen and is blown from the ground by the wind, or snow that is blown as it falls.
  • Heavy Snow is snow that is falling and reducing visibility to a quarter of a mile or less.
  • Blizzards are when blowing snow and/or falling snow combines with sustained winds of 35 miles per hour or greater, reducing visibility to a quarter of a mile or less for at least 3 hours.