What are the types of winter precipitation?

6 Storm Team Weather School

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — We’ve talked about different Winter precipitation types before, but what does it mean when a meteorologist says its a “rain snow mix”?

What that means is as precipitation falls from the cloud base layer, it’s below freezing but there’s an above freezing layer closer to the surface. So basically what we see is snow falling, some of it melts into the form of rain, but some of it holds together in the form of snow.

That’s  why we see a bit of a wintry mix of snow and rain. If the freezing line were lower, we would see all snow.

Another thing we need to pay attention to…bridges. Don’t forget bridges can cool a lot quicker than other road surfaces because we get air circulating around them and cooling them off quicker. So often we see this, road surface temperatures may be in the upper 30s but bridges themselves can be in the upper 20s or mid 20s. You’re driving along and the roads just look wet and you hit one of these bridges and it is ice covered and it can be very dangerous.

So, just keep this in mind when winter precipitation is in the forecast.

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