Snow: What's it take for it to happen?

    7:16 PM, Jan 15, 2010   |    comments
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    When the temperature is below 32 degrees from the ground to the cloud, and moisture is present, all precipitation would be snow. The freezing column has to be thick and extend throughout the lower atmosphere.

    If the freezing layer is shallower, and the temp at the cloud base is above 32, sleet will fall. It starts out as rain and freezes into an ice pellet as it falls through the sub freezing air.

    If it's only freezing on the ground and warmer aloft, freezing rain will form. Freezing rain is liquid precipiation that freezes on contact at  ground level.

    Because of our proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, sometimes warm air can overide the shallow cold air layer bring more ice than snow. This happens more often than most prefer.

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