How does snow form?

A wintry mix is likely moving in late Friday into early Saturday, starting with cold rain, sleet then a few snow flurries early Saturday morning.

There is a low possibility of freezing rain as well, but this is less likely. Small accumulation is more likely to our north with Columbus seeing just a couple of flakes.

Rain, sleet, freezing rain and snow all form differently.

When precipitation forms it often starts out frozen since it is high in our atmosphere where it is much colder.

Rain melts all the way as it heads down to us.

Freezing rain will melt to rain as well, but if the ground is freezing (below 32F) for a long enough time, that rain will freeze on contact – coating power lines, branches and roads. Even a small accumulation of freezing rain makes for slippery and dangerous conditions.

Sleet will only melt for a little through a shallow layer of warm air then will re-freeze before it makes it to the surface. This is why sleet will often bounce when it hits the ground.

Snow stays frozen the whole time because if the atmosphere is cold enough, it won’t go tĥrough a warming layer to melt it.

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