Why is the sleet taking so long to melt? Van Denton has your answer
Why is the sleet taking so long to melt?
We often talk about the standard ratio of snow to rain (10 to 1). On average 10 inches of snow when melted down will equal 1 inch. 90 percent of the snow is made up of air. If the air is really cold, it can be 20 or even 25 to 1.
Sleet is a solid ball of frozen water. As snowflakes fall from the cloud, they melt in a warm layer (sometimes partially melt) and then refreeze on the way to the ground when the lower levels are cold. These ice pellets collect and are much more dense. Typically (2-3 to 1 ration). In other words, 2-3 inches of sleet would melt down to 1 inch of liquid.
With all of that said, much of the Triad had 4 inches of mostly sleet with some snow and a light glaze of freezing rain.
It has taken about the same amount of time to melt 4 inches of sleet as it would take to melt a foot of snow.