You are on page 1of 2

Freezing rain is just rain that falls onto a surface with a temperature below freezing.

This
causes it to freeze to surfaces, such as trees, cars, and roads, forming a coating or glaze
of ice. Even small accumulations of ice can cause a significant hazard.
Wicker, Crystal. "Weather Wiz Kids Weather Information for Kids." Weather Wiz Kids Weather
Information for Kids. N.p., 2015. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.
An ice storm is a type of winter storm caused by freezing rain. The U.S. National Weather
Service defines an ice storm as a storm which results in the accumulation of at least 0.25inch of ice on exposed surfaces.
Wicker, Crystal. "Weather Wiz Kids Weather Information for Kids." Weather Wiz Kids Weather
Information for Kids. N.p., 2015. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.
Ice storms form when a layer of warm air is between two layers of cold air. Frozen
precipitation melts while falling into the warm air layer, and then proceeds to refreeze in
the cold layer above the ground. This creates freezing rain or a glaze of ice.
"Weather Wiz Kids Weather Information for Kids." Weather Wiz Kids Weather Information for
Kids. N.p., 2015. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.

Both freezing rain and sleet occur by the same general process: liquid raindrops in a layer of
warm air well above the surface fall into a layer of freezing air hugging the ground. The
difference between these two wintry precipitation types depends on the thickness of the layer of
freezing air.
Freezing rain occurs when the layer of freezing air is so thin that the raindrops do not have
enough time to freeze before reaching the ground. Instead, the water freezes on contact with
the surface, creating a coating of ice on whatever the raindrops contact.
Sleet is simply frozen raindrops and occurs when the layer of freezing air along the surface is
thicker. This causes the raindrops to freeze before reaching the ground.

"Freezing Rain and Sleet." Freezing Rain and Sleet. National Weather Service, n.d. Web. 29
Apr. 2015.
Both of these wintry precipitation types are hazardous for travelers. With either type, the ice can
create slick spots on roadways, causing motorists to lose control of their automobiles with little
to no warning. Bridges, overpasses and elevated roadways are especially susceptible to icing
as they are surrounded on all sides by the cold air and freeze more quickly.
In addition, ice caused by freezing rain can rapidly add weight to tree branches and power lines,
causing them to snap or break. In addition to these fallen branches causing damage to
whatever they land on, power outages may also occur.
"Freezing Rain and Sleet." Freezing Rain and Sleet. National Weather Service, n.d. Web. 29
Apr. 2015.
Freezing rain is simply rain that falls through a shallow layer of cold temperatures at or below 0 degrees
Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) near the surface. When this rain becomes supercooled, it can freeze on
contact with roads, bridges, trees, power lines, and vehicles. When freezing rain accumulates, it can add
a lot of weight on trees which can result in numerous power outages and damage to homes. Freezing rain
is typically the weather threat that creates the most car accidents, injuries, and deaths in winter storms.
Many people can drive in the rain and snow, but when the roads become icy, it is almost impossible to
drive. Just a quarter of an inch of ice can add 500 pounds of weight on trees which can easily bring them
down. Some of the most severe ice storms can shut down large cities, result in thousands of power
outages, and the most violent ones can also become billion dollar disasters (rare).