S.A.Grapples with Graupel

by Elizabeth Ruiz
Snow is rare in San Antonio, but many area residents are hearing about graupel for the first time.
You may have thought the white stuff coating your driveways and sidewalks were ice pellets, but accu weather meteorologist Bob Larson says it's a hybrid. 
"It's  a mix between a snowflake, a sleet pellet and freezing rain.  I've heard it referred to as soft hail," said Larson.
Others say graupel resembles the ice cream treat called Dippin' Dots.
"Essentially, it's a snowflake that gets some water droplets on the outer edges and those droplets freeze, so it's like a snowflake that's covered with ice," said Larson.
It tends to bounce when it hits the surface, similar to sleet.
"However, sleet tends to be clear. Graupel is white," said Larson.

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