Sunday morning, with snow forecast and falling in Oklahoma, Rick Smith, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at NWS Norman, put this graphic on his personal Twitter account. I thought it is a very good graphic describing what has to happen for snow to occur.
Ever since I was young, living in SC, we were always puzzled by what would bring snow. I like the graphic because if actually tells you the temperatures needed at certain levels for snow, sleet, or freezing rain to occur. Growing up, it seemed that sleet was always what we would get–but freezing rain was what we feared most. With freezing rain, the power was at risk and the roads were icy and slick. Sleet was always disappointing, because it wasn’t snow–but many times it was the first step to becoming snow. Snow, we always would look for but only seeing it once or twice a year. For all winter weather events, bread and milk was always a requirement to purchase.
In all seriousness, winter weather can be a very dangerous situation–from traveling to staying in your home.
It would be helpful for each of us to review the winter weather tips before the winter starts–or days like today when we are reminded that winter is here.
A more detailed explanation of winter weather precipitation can be found at the National Weather Service site.