Yesterday, you may have noticed an Easter surprise from the skies. Facebook was lit up with exclamations of short-lived snow showers yesterday that quite people by surprise. But, there was something interesting about this snow that may have you realizing how complex snow can really be.
Easter's Graupel Appearance In New England
Some witnessed it come down and not stick around on the ground for too long, others saw it clump up on the ground and were able to investigate the specialty of this unusual precipitation.
What exactly is graupel?
Well, it's not snow and it's not hail. It's sort of a mix of both. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration defines it as the following: soft, small pellets formed when supercooled water droplets (at a temperature below 32°F) freeze onto a snow crystal, a process called riming. If the riming is particularly intense, the rimed snow crystal can grow to an appreciable size, but remain less than 0.2 inches. Graupel is also called snow pellets or soft hail, as the graupel particles are particularly fragile and generally disintegrate when handled.
Graupel looks awfully familiar...
I almost want to eat it....
So, as we progress through April, we may get to witness this special kind of snow again but, don't expect it to last too long on the ground. Some (like me) are pretty grateful for that right now even though it seems like it could be pretty tasty to eat.