What is graupel?

What is graupel?

Graupel is a type of precipitation that forms in the atmosphere when supercooled water droplets freeze onto falling snowflakes. It is also known as soft hail, snow pellets, or snowflakes.

Graupel looks like small, soft, round balls of snow that have a white, opaque appearance. Unlike hail, which is made up of ice, graupel is made up of soft, snow-like particles that are easily crushed in your hand.

Graupel forms in thunderstorms or convective clouds where there are strong updrafts and cool temperatures. The supercooled water droplets freeze onto the snowflakes and create the soft, pellet-like appearance of graupel.

Graupel is often mistaken for hail, but it is a distinct type of precipitation that is softer and less dense. It is not as heavy as hail and does not cause the same type of damage, but it can still cause problems for outdoor activities and for transportation during winter storms.

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