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sleet, precipitation of small, partially melted grains of ice. As raindrops fall from clouds, they pass through layers of air at different temperatures. If they pass through a layer with a temperature below the freezing point, they turn into sleet. Snowflakes that have melted by passing through a warm layer will turn into sleet if they then pass through a freezing layer. Sleet often falls together with snow and rain, and may deposit an icy coating on exposed surfaces. Sleet occurs only during the winter, while hail, a different form of icy precipitation, may fall at any time of the year.
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Colloquially in some parts of the United States, precipitation in the form of a mixture of snow and rain.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Water droplets falling from clouds that become clear ice pellets after passing through a layer of clouds with freezing temperatures. Sleet thus indicates a temperature inversion. Sleet may also develop from the freezing of melted snow, as the latter falls through a colder layer of air near the ground. On weather charts, sleet is represented by
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
1. partly melted falling snow or hail or (esp US) partly frozen rain
2. Chiefly US the thin coat of ice that forms when sleet or rain freezes on cold surfaces
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005