Precipitation of transparent or translucent pellets of ice, which are round or irregular, rarely conical, and which have a diameter of 0.2 inch (5 mm), or less. There are two main types: a. Hard grains of ice consisting of frozen raindrops, or largely melted and refrozen snowflakes. b. Pellets of snow encased in a thin layer of ice which have formed from the freezing, either of droplets intercepted by the pellets, or of water resulting from the partial melting of the pellets.
A type of precipitation. Ice pellets or sleet are transparent or translucent spheres of frozen water that fall from clouds. Ice pellets have a diameter less than 5 millimeters. To form, this type of precipitation requires an environment where raindrops develop in an atmosphere where air temperature is above freezing. These raindrops then fall into a lower layer of air with freezing temperatures. In this lower layer of cold air, the raindrops freeze into small ice pellets. Like freezing rain, an air temperature inversion is required for development of ice pellets.