It’s SNOWING !!!

November 12th, 2012 at 11:22 am by under Weather

Snow In The Fort

The weather changed from a nice September type day Sunday to more of December type day in 24 hours. Snow fell in Fort Wayne. Okay, you can say it really wasn’t enough to get excited about but the first flakes of the season that actually stick to the ground make people a little crazy. Yes, myself included. Here are some viewer pictures sent to us today. Thanks for sending your pictures to me everyone!

Ice Pellets And Snow

So when the snow first began to fall I was accused of being a ‘weather nerd’ for calling the precipitation ‘ice pellets’. That’s exactly what it started as today. So I got a whim to look up what the internet said about ice pellets and I have to admit that some of the definitions got me kind of confused.  This explanation is from a web site called weather questions. “Ice pellets (sleet) frequently occurs mixed in with freezing rain, and is made of frozen raindrops. Sleet forms in advance of a warm front in the wintertime in a narrow band, usually sandwiched between an area of snow and an area of rain or freezing rain associated with an extratropical cyclone. Rain being produced in a warm layer aloft falls into a cold air layer below. If the cold layer is deep enough, then the raindrops freeze. If the cold layer is very dry, sleet will more readily form due to evaporative cooling. ”

Huh? Okay, some of the definition is correct but technically freezing rain is defined as liquid precipitation that freezes on contact with a frozen surface. So, in other words it rains and hits a frozen side walk or car and turns to ice. Freezing rain does not occur in the sky folks. The extratropical cyclone stuff, I don’t know and can’t begin to figure out what they are talking about here. Evaporative cooling is on the right track here but let’s simplify it a little here.

Ice pellets are caused by snow flakes that fall from a cloud as snow, turn to liquid in the mid levels of the atmosphere and freeze again as ice pellets or sleet. Okay, I explained in one simple sentence what a long complicated explanation could not.

Here is the definition from the National Weather Service: “Ice Pellets (abbrev. IP) Same as Sleet; defined as pellets of ice composed of frozen or mostly frozen raindrops or refrozen partially melted snowflakes. These pellets of ice usually bounce after hitting the ground or other hard surfaces. A Winter Storm Warning is issued for sleet or a combination of sleet and snow based on total accumulation which is locally defined by area.

Once again mission accomplished with a short and concise two sentence definition.

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