What’s that falling on the windshield? Is it hail?
Maybe it’s sleet, or even snow? Or maybe it’s just a really hard rainfall?
When you’re driving in the middle of frozen precipitation in the winter it can be hard to tell what you’re facing, especially when you’re more concerned with staying on the road than watching water fall from the sky.
That being said, it’s important to know what you’re facing so that you can be prepared for what’s ahead – and to protect the things that belong to you.
The Three Main Types of Frozen Precipitation
This article will help you to know the difference between snow, sleet, and hail so you can be informed and be ready. Read on to learn more about it.
We all have heard about hail before, but most of us don’t really know the complexity that goes into creating one.
Hail starts off as a raindrop, as most precipitation does. during the rainy session, the drops are propelled upward by the wind into the atmosphere, where the temperatures are extremely cold.
The raindrop continues to freeze and grow as it’s in the atmosphere until it becomes a solid ball of ice. When it becomes too heavy for the atmosphere to support, it comes down to the earth as hail.
The ball of ice must be at least a fifth of an inch in diameter to qualify as hail. This most often happens during a thunderstorm, so be mindful of traveling outdoors if you’re in the middle of a storm or you see one approaching.
Sleet, also known as ice pellets, can be said to be the little cousin of hail, although it forms by a different measure.
Sleet starts off as a snowflake that resides high above the ground in a cold layer of air. As it falls, it makes contact with a warmer layer of air and begins to thaw, shaping itself into a raindrop on its way down.
As it gets closer to the surface, however, the raindrop makes contact with another cold layer of air. This causes it to freeze again, and it becomes a frozen raindrop before it hits the surface.
Unlike sleet, snow requires the temperatures to remain constant in order for it to fall.
When the precipitation first falls from the sky, it falls as a snowflake. The layers of air that it falls through must remain below freezing temperatures (below 32 degrees Fahrenheit) so that the snowflake can make the whole trip down.
The only exception to this rule is if the layer of air just above the surface is only slightly above freezing, and is a shallow layer at that, so the snowflake will still be in its original form when it hits the ground.
We’ve Got Your Back
Frozen precipitation can be a problem no matter which type you face. If you’ve already run into trouble and need help, you don’t have to look any further than us.
Here at Colorado Hail Solutions, we know what it means to face the frozen outdoors – and we have what it takes to fight back. We offer paintless dent repair, installations, removals, touch-ups, and much more.
Give us a call or come see us to learn more about what we can do to help you. We look forward to serving you soon!