CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Just in time for the first official day of winter, sleet is falling in parts of Charlotte.
Around 11:30 a.m., a light rain began to mix of sleet across portions of Charlotte. While no heavy bouts of wintry precipitation are expected, it is the Queen City's first sighting of frozen precipitation this season.
Sleet occurs when snow forms in the upper atmosphere, where the temperature is below freezing, but then melts as it warms through the lower layers of the atmosphere, where the temperature is warmer. The midday temperature at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, where the National Weather Service takes its official weather observations for the city, was 39 degrees.
The sleet was seen outside the studios of WCNC Charlotte, which is located on Billy Graham Parkway near the airport.
Additional reports of sleet were received near Uptown Charlotte.
Sleet can sometimes be heard before it's seen as the small frozen crystals bouncing off windows and hard surfaces.
Temperatures are expected to climb into the mid-40s Tuesday with an increased chance of rain during the late afternoon and evening.
Don't take those sleds out just yet. Tuesday's sleet is just a tease. There won't be a White Christmas in Charlotte this year. The temperature Saturday is forecast to be 68 degrees, which would make rank 2021 among the city's top 5 warmest Christmas holidays.