Weather: Sleet in April?


Story by Hal Goodtree. Photo by Roving I.

Cary, NC – I’m pretty sure that sleet was pinging off my windshield this morning as I left the Starbucks on Davis Drive. Sleet in April? In the Triangle?

Sleet in April

The air was cool, but not cold. One would expect hail, but the particles were small, granular.

From Weather Dudes:

Hail normally occurs in thunderstorms and is the result of strong updrafts that repeatedly carry growing chunks of ice upwards into the clouds. Once the hail stones become too heavy to be lifted by the updrafts, they fall to the ground. Hail stones are normally much larger than sleet pellets and they can cause damage to crops, windshields, people, etc.

No thunder. No large pellets. Not hail.

Weather Dudes:

Sleet occurs during a winter storm and is caused by rain falling into a cold layer of air aloft which has to be below freezing. As the raindrops fall through the cold layer of air, they freeze and become small ice pellets. When they hit your car windshield or your windows at home, they can make quite a racket.

How about freezing rain?

Freezing rain is basically rain that falls onto the ground and then freezes AFTER it hits the ground.

It’s freezing rain that brings down tree limbs and power lines.

I’m going with sleet. I covered my lettuce plants with a tarp to prevent damage to the tender leaves.

The official “frost day” in our part of North Carolina is April 15. But weird weather happens. Always has.

Rain (or sleet?) is expected to continue intermittently until Friday. Temps rise into the 60’s over the weekend and into the 70’s early next week.


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