CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Freezing rain and sleet both fall under the winter weather category. But what is the difference between the two?
First off, both need cold air to form, usually right around the freezing mark of 32 degrees or cooler.
Freezing rain is usually plain rain that falls as a liquid and freezes on contact, usually on surfaces such as roadways and sidewalks. When these surfaces are untreated, they can make them slippery and cause issues for drivers, especially at night when it is hard to see an “icy” surface. This light glaze can also accumulate on power lines, tree limbs, and other objects as well.
Sleet, on the other hand, falls as a solid. If you hear a “pin” sound, that is most likely sleet and not freezing rain. This is not hail, hail is associated with thunderstorms, usually in the spring and the summer. They usually bounce as they hit the ground. Sleet can accumulate just like snow can.
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