Mixture of sleet, snow makes early appearance

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The frozen bits falling from the sky on Monday took manyBrookhaven residents by surprise, though temperatures in the 40shad people piling on the clothing layers for more warmth.

Lincoln County Civil Defense Director Clifford Galey said thefrozen condensation that fell in most parts of the city was sleet.And while temperatures near the ground were not cold enough forfreezing rain, it’s the temperatures higher in the sky thatdetermines the freezing.

“The temperatures higher in the sky that cause the freeze, notthe temperatures on the ground,” Galey said. “That’s why it meltswhen it hits the ground and it doesn’t stick.”

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Meanwhile, area residents expressed excitement at the idea ofseeing “snow” on the first day of December.

“Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve loved snow,” said hospicenurse Brett Callender of Brookhaven. “Of course it’s rare that weget enough to actually play in. But that doesn’t keep me fromsmiling when it starts to fall.”

Could the early appearance of frozen flakes mean anythingtowards a white Christmas? Galey said it’s hard to tell if the areawill see anything else like it this year, especially afterJanuary’s big snow.

“That’s something I can’t really say,” he said. “There’s alwaysthat possibility. But it doesn’t happen often.”

Monticello’s Derek Delaughter said every now and then it’s justgood to see signs of winter.

“When you see snow or sleet, it’s a definite sign of winter,” hesaid. “When I looked out the window and saw that, I was kind ofamazed. It hardly ever gets that cold here.”

Cooler temperatures left a layer a frost over vehicles andfields early Tuesday. Temperatures were expected to warm up laterTuesday and Wednesday.