snow and ice
what is the difference between snow and ice?
also what is the difference between sleet, hail, and frezzing rain?
One Hissy Kitty
You should probably ask this down in the science section. To me the differences all relate to how well the car stays on the road.
Ice is formed by liquid water being cooled and becoming a solid. It will go through four or five different crystalline structures as the temperature drops and/or the pressure changes but this does not usually happen under normal environmental conditions.
Snow is formed by gaseous water vapor turning directly into a solid without passing through a liquid state. The crystals formed this way have a different geometry than ice and cannot pack together tightly at normal atmospheric pressure. I don't know the physics of this. Carbon dioxide gas at atmospheric pressure also turns directly into a solid without passing through a liquid state. Yet "dry ice," as it's called, is just as solid as water ice; it's nothing at all like snow.
There is another state of frozen water called "firn." It is midway between snow and ice.
In arctic climates the average temperature that does not permit a net thawing of the snowpack over the course of a year. Snow piles up and the pressure on the snow at the very bottom becomes great enough to change its state from snow to firn. Eventually it undergoes the final change into ice. This is how glaciers form. The ice on the bottom is simply snow that has been squashed by the weight of the snow on top of it for thousands of years.
Sleet is the same thing as freezing rain. The raindrops freeze on their way to the ground.
A hailstone is a kernel of frozen rain with accretions of ice or packed snow forming or collecting around it in layers.