Winter weather can provide a beautiful blanket across large parts of the USA.
However, many drivers don’t anticipate road conditions if there’s precipitation falling from the sky. When that occurs, you must know the difference between hail and sleet, so you can continue driving or find shelter before damage occurs to your car or body.
What exactly is the difference between snow, sleet, and hail? How do you know the difference? How can you predict future weather patterns?
Below, we answer all of your questions about hail vs sleet when it comes to staying safe on the road in hazardous weather conditions. Read on!
What Is Hail?
Hail is a form of solid precipitation that is made up of lumps or balls of ice, while sleet is a form of solid precipitation that consists of frozen raindrops or ice pellets.
Hail usually falls from cumulonimbus clouds that are fed by strong updrafts that carry hailstones higher and higher into the atmosphere, allowing them to become frozen. The hailstone also forms when layers of rime or ice accumulate.
What Is Sleet?
Sleet is a type of precipitation that forms as snow falls through a layer of warm air, melting and then refreezing as pellets of ice. It is usually seen as mixed with rain and falling from clouds.
This precipitation has a higher chance of occurring during the winter months and usually affects more populated areas.
Differences in Weather Patterns
There are distinct differences between hail and sleet in relation to differences in weather patterns. When severe thunderstorms roll through, hail forms when the air is cold enough to freeze the raindrops while they’re suspended in the clouds. Sleet is created from snow melting and refreezing as it passes through the warm and cold air.
Hail usually appears larger, as it can grow up to the size of a baseball, whereas sleet is smaller and can appear more jagged.
Differences in Damage Potential
The primary difference between hail and sleet is the damage potential they pose. Hail is much larger and more damaging, often impacting large areas of a property or vehicle, and can cause a significant amount of damage.
The size of hailstones can range anywhere from a pea to a small marble or even as large as a golf ball or baseball, resulting in larger and much more damaging impacts. So, in case you need a reliable hail damage repair, visit this page now.
Sleet, on the other hand, is normally much smaller than hail and does not cause the same level of damage, although it can be quite a nuisance.
It is composed of very tiny little balls of ice that often do not even leave a mark on walls or vehicles, but complicate driving conditions and can cause localized flooding.
Know the Difference Between Hail vs Sleet
When it comes to hail vs sleet, there are distinct differences between the two.
Hail forms from strong updrafts that lift water droplets which freeze and grow as they re-enter the atmosphere, while sleet grows from partially frozen droplets that refreeze after falling through a cold layer of atmosphere.
Knowing the difference between these two weather events can help you better prepare for the weather ahead. So keep an eye on the forecast to make sure you’re ready for what comes your way!
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