News / 



Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

I am working on a school project and trying to find the answer this question: Describe three ways that sleet is unique. I've had no luck finding an answer. Please anwer ASAP. Thank you so much.

Madison H.


We get a lot of inquiries about school work, now usually we'll point you in the right direction but this question is fun so we'll tackle it here. Do I get the gold star sticker on this one?

Sleet is pretty cool. We must remember what sleet is. Sleet is rain that falls through a freezing or below freezing layer, so the rain drop then becomes frozen. It's a tiny ice drop essentially. Sleet can pile up on the sides of the road or in the yard and become problematic. Some sleet storms are so bad that you can have 5 inches of sleet in your yard instead of snow! Weird? It doesn't make for good snowmen (or women for that matter). During the historic December of 2004 storm, 6 inches of sleet fell in central Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

What makes sleet special? Well, it's different than rain, it's not liquid, it's ice. Sleet can accumulate similar to snow but definitely different than rain. Sleet is also unique in that it's warmer higher up in the cloud where rain drops form, then it freezes on the way down. So instead of it being warmer near the surface of the earth, it's colder, that's definitely not a regular event.

Sleet can also start off as SNOW that melts into RAIN and then refreezes again! Thus it goes through a couple of different water phases.

Good luck with your project!

Answered by KSL Meteorologist Dina Freedman.

Related links

Most recent News stories


Catch up on the top news and features from, sent weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast