That Wasn’t Hail You Saw in Parts of Maine, It’s Called Graupel and Here’s What It Is
Snow is in the forecast for Maine tomorrow
With a spring snow set to hit Maine tomorrow, many Mainers thought they saw some Easter snow or hail yesterday when little white pellets fell from the sky. Naturally, the immediate thought was that it was too hard to be snow so it had to be hail or even sleet. However, according to Channel 8 WMTW meteorologist Sarah Long, all the above guesses are wrong.
Because it was actually graupel.
What is graupel?
According to Channel 8 WMTW meteorologist Ted McInerney, graupel is actually a snowflake that falls from the sky but gets coated by a frozen cloud, making it completely different from regular snow, freezing rain, sleet, or hail. Ted actually said that it's a pretty rare form of winter precipitation (which makes sense since anytime we hear the word "graupel" in a weather headline, most of us go, "huh?")
Speaking of Ted McInerney, he actually experienced a round of graupel of his own while visiting family in upstate New York for Easter yesterday.
Various parts of Massachusetts also saw some Easter graupel yesterday, including members of our Townsquare Media family stationed in the New Bedford/Fall River area.
Through all of those graupel sightings, though, there hasn't been one mention of any parts of New Hampshire seeing any yesterday, interestingly enough. And thankfully, while graupel melts pretty quickly, it looks like we may need to put our shovels and snowbrushes back in our car for one (hopefully just one) last round of snow tomorrow.