Are freezing rain and sleet considered the same thing?
No. Freezing rain or freezing drizzle is rain occurring when surface temperatures are below freezing, causing the rain to freeze when it hits the ground or other objects, such as trees and power wires. When freezing rain forms a substantial glaze layer over everything, it starts to be an icestorm, like the ones that devastated parts of New England and Canada in early 1998. Freezing rain and drizzle happen when temperatures are slightly below freezing. Sleet can be easily identified as frozen rain drops (ice pellets) which bounce when hitting the ground. They are frozen before coming down. Sleet does not stick to trees and wires.