Monday, March 02, 2015

Another SLEET Storm?

This storm is going to keep us on our toes this week. At this point, the predominant precipitation TYPE could be SLEET again. Remember, sleet is little pellets of ice.

Things we have learned about sleet in Region 8:

  • It does not accumulate as fast as snow in regards to depth. The ratio between snow and rain is roughly 10:1, meaning, 1" of rain equals 10" of snow. Sleet is typically a 3:1 ratio. Meaning 1" of rain is about 3" of sleet. This is why you should not get excited when people post images of Jonesboro getting 14" of snow. Sleet would make that number much lower.
  • Sleet weighs a lot. While it may not add up as fast, sleet still weighs the same because it has the same liquid content. So, 10" of snow weighs the same as 3" of sleet on a roof!
  • Sleet sticks around longer. It's harder to melt and seems to linger around forever. That's why we still have sleet on the ground from 15 days ago.
So, why are we thinking a lot of the precipitation will be sleet AGAIN in Region 8? Let's take a snapshot of the atmosphere on Wednesday evening from this computer model. The bottom of the image is the ground. The top of the image is high in the sky. The red line is the temperature and the green line is the dewpoint. You measure the temperature from the numbers at the bottom and their coordinating lines. I have made the "0° Celsius" line in light blue to help you out:
If you notice, there is a warm layer between 5,400'-11,000' on Wednesday evening. This is where the snowflakes will met into droplets. They will refreeze into ice pellets (sleet) before making it to the ground to ruin the rest of our week.

Radar may look something like this on Wednesday evening. Some getting snow... but, most of us getting sleet:
The bottom part of the atmosphere is just not good at making snowflakes. The bottom part of the atmosphere is lazy and only creates sleet. :) So... we may end up with another sleet storm.

Let's hope something changes. All snow would be a headache because it adds up faster... so I'm cheering for all rain, which will probably lose.



Anonymous said...

So how would sleet compare to school closings compared to the snow??

philip said...

Ryan please will you bring spring its time to go fishing got cabin fever