Give credit we’re credits due

I must admit I was pleased to see tempest measure a sleet storm from beginning to end. My other gauges could not pick up on the sleet due to the freezing temperatures. So bravo tempest nice going.


Out of curiosity, which definintion are you using for sleet? In the US, sleet is ice pellets … in Britain, it is mixed rain and snow. Not sure about any other definitions, but, I would not be surprised if there are more.

in the Netherlands this would be “ijzel”, supercooled raindroplets that instantly freeze upon impact.

In the U.S., we call rain that freezes on contact “freezing rain” (I know, pretty boring … I think I like the term ijzel better, even though I have no idea how to pronounce it :slight_smile: ). Sleet is rain that refreezes into ice pellets before it hits the ground. If we get enough freezing rain, it can do some serious damage to trees, wires, etc.

We go this type of sleet/hail this week and I do know that my Tempest showed it up as heavy rain. Some of the size was over 1/4" . Feb 22nd in the Chicago area we went from 40 degrees and rain / thunder to this hail.


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if it is already frozen when it hits the ground, wouldn’t that be called hail??
here is how to pronounce it in dutch

It comes down to how the frozen hydrometeor was formed. Hail is formed in a strong updraft (the type of updraft typically only occurring in a thunderstorm), sleet forms as the upper level ice crystals/snowflakes fall through a warm layer and melt on the way down and then refreeze in a lower level cold layer. Sleet pellets rarely get very large (so, a particle that is over 0.25" could have formed into hail in an updraft … hard to tell for sure in the photo).

We have another term used in the U.S. for another kind of hydrometeor … graupel. Graupel is usually a rounded particle (similar to sleet) but the particles are usually white or whitish in color and softer (more like a snow pellet than an ice pellet) and often break on impact (but not always). It is not impossible to get a mix of the different kinds of frozen hydrometeors from a dynamic event (and also some hybrid particles that may look like hard graupel, soft sleet, etc.)