World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Rain and snow mixed

Article Id: WHEBN0018160997
Reproduction Date:

Title: Rain and snow mixed  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of meteorological phenomena, Global storm activity of 2009, Global storm activity of 2008, Precipitation types, 557 Constantinople earthquake
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Rain and snow mixed

Rain and snow mixed or Sleet is precipitation composed of rain and partially melted snow. Unlike ice pellets, which are hard, and freezing rain, which is fluid until striking an object, this precipitation is soft and translucent, but it contains some traces of ice crystals, due to partially fused snowflakes. In any one location, it usually occurs briefly as a transition phase from rain to snow or vice versa. Its METAR code is RASN.[1]

Terminology

This precipitation type is commonly known as sleet in most Commonwealth countries,[2] including Canada.[3] However, the United States National Weather Service use the term sleet to refer to ice pellets.[4]

A small amount of slush can be produced from a mixture of rain and snow
Rain snow mix soundings - Left diagram shows typical skew-T appearance, while right diagram shows variations which result in mixtures of rain and snow

Formation

This precipitation occurs where the temperature in the lowest part of the atmosphere is slightly above the freezing point (0 °C or 32 °F). The depth of low-level warm air (below the freezing level) needed to melt snow falling from above to rain varies from about 750 feet (230 m) to about 1,500 feet (460 m) and depends on the mass of the flakes and the lapse rate of the melting layer. Rain and snow typically mix when the melting layer depth falls between these values.[5]

"Wintry showers" or "wintry mixes"

Wintry showers is a somewhat informal meteorological term, used primarily in the United Kingdom, to refer to various mixtures of rain, graupel and snow. Though no "official" criteria exist for the term, in the United Kingdom the term is not used when any significant accumulation of snow on the ground takes place. It is often used when the temperature of the ground surface is above 0 °C (32 °F), preventing accumulation from occurring even if the air temperature is marginally below 0 °C (32 °F); but even then the falling precipitation must generally be something other than consisting exclusively of snow.

In the United States, wintry mix generally refers to a mixture of freezing rain, ice pellets, and snow.[6] In contrast to the usage in the United Kingdom, in the United States it is usually used when air and ground temperatures are below 0 °C (32 °F). Additionally, it is generally used when some accumulation of ice and snow is expected to occur. During winter, a wide area can be affected by the multiple precipitation types typical of a wintry mix during a single winter storm, as counter-clockwise winds around a storm system bring warm air northwards ahead of the system, and then bring cold air back southwards behind it. Most often, it is the region ahead of the approaching storm system which sees the wintry mix, as warm air moves northward and above retreating cold air, causing snow to change to ice pellets, freezing rain and finally rain. The reverse transition can occur behind the departing low pressure system, though it is more common for precipitation to change directly from rain to snow, or for it to stop before a transition back.

See also

References

  1. ^ http://glossary.ametsoc.org/articles/Rain_and_snow_mixed
  2. ^ http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/sleet
  3. ^
  4. ^ http://w1.weather.gov/glossary/index.php?word=sleet
  5. ^ http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lmk/?n=winter-precip
  6. ^ http://oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/wintry-mix

External links

  • AMS Glossary
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.