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Types of Frozen Precipitation

Type Surface Temperatures Cloud Temperatures Other Factors
Snow Generally mid 30s or colder if the atmosphere aloft is cold Colder than 15 degrees If any layer of the atmosphere below the cloud warms to more than 38 degrees or so, precipitation will usually not be snow
Sleet Generally mid 30s or colder Usually colder than 15 degrees A warm layer of more than 38 degrees must melt all snow, then a deep cold layer below freezing below it must be present to totally refreeze the drops
Freezing Rain 32 degrees or colder Could be just about anything Warm air aloft ensures all precipitation is liquid, then a thin cold layer below freezing near the surface "supercools" the drops so they freeze when they contact a cold surface
Hail Vary widely Partially below freezing, partially above freezing Precipitation is cycled through a cloud's updraft with layers of ice growing concentrically from the center. Usually associated with a strong thunderstorm updraft
Graupel Generally 45 degrees or colder Mostly below freezing, with some portion colder than 15 degrees Precipitation forms as snow, then is rimed in layers by supercooled liquid from updrafts into showers. Usually occurs when the lower atmosphere is very unstable. Also called snow pellets