While I hope we are putting the winter weather behind us, a flash of snow last week that left thousands without power was a reminder of the damage that can be caused. It all depends on the kind of precipitation that actually hits the ground.
Enter atmospheric researchers from University at Albany and other institutions in both Canada and the U.S. The scientists recently completed a six-week field campaign where they collected an enormous amount of data on the mixed winter precipitation storms that often confound forecasters and commuters alike.
Using ground observations, soaring weather balloons, tank-like mobile radars and a specialized airplane to collect the data, the scientists hope to develop a better understanding of the fundamental dynamics of storms that sometimes end with freezing rain, sometimes with sleet and sometimes with a heavy snow in April that forces you to find a coffee shop to work from.