Just what is the difference between Freezing Rain and sleet, and why doesn't it just snow every time it's below freezing? Weather.com has the answer. But since you don't want to read that, here's the rundown: Freezing Rain falls through the air at above or near freezing and then land on something that is belove freezing. Sleet, starts as snow, then passes through above freezing air and then back through another layer of freezing air to reform as ice. Snow, lives its whole life in freezing temperatures.