So What Is That?


SOLSC Day 24

I go to the window

and look out to see

Precip’s started falling

but what can it be?


It’s not snow; it’s not rain

It’s…well, I don’t know.

Hail or sleet are ruled out

Frizzle?  Maybe so.


It splatters on contact

Covers not the ground.

It’s over in minutes

does not hang around.


I tune in the weather

to see what we had.

A term that’s new to me

not really too bad.


It’s supercooled droplets

More info do tell.

That freeze on the snowflakes

It’s just called graupel.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Graupel (German pronunciation: [ˈɡʁaʊpəl]; Enɡlish: [ˈgɹaʊpəl]), also called soft hail or snow pellets,[1] is precipitation that forms when supercooled water droplets are collected and freeze on falling snowflakes, forming 2–5 mm (0.08–0.20 in) balls of rime. The term graupel comes from the German language.

Graupel is distinct from hail, small hail and ice pellets: the World Meteorological Organization defines small hail as snow pellets encapsulated by ice, a precipitation halfway between snow pellets and hail. Small hail is common in thunderstorms, while graupel typically falls in winter storms.[2] 



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28 responses to “So What Is That?

  1. Great rhythm to this poem and it had an informative piece too. I’ve never heard of that term before. Learn something new every day!

  2. As much as I like to think I know everything, it is nicer to learn something new – that is is the form of a poem makes is the icing on the cake. For all of the varied forms of precipitation we get in the Pacific Northwest, this one was new to me, too.

  3. jumpofffindwings

    Love the poem, and the new word! We’ve had occasional graupel here, and now I know how to name it.

  4. Wow… Something new! Glad I stopped by 🙂

  5. Wow, Bob, I learned something new! I have never heard of graupel before, A great choice for a game of hangman! Remember playing that word game in school?

  6. Learning is happening this Sunday morning! I didn’t think that there was anything soft about hail! Now I know better, and my learning happened through poetry! I think you could give your local weather person run for his/her money!

  7. I had to laugh when I read your title – I just knew it was going to be about graupel I, too, heard this term for the first time recently – I thought the weather man was joking. It joins “derecho” and “bomb cyclone” in my list of new weather terms.
    I like the way your poem moves towards the revelation of this new “thing”.

  8. Thanks for sharing. I have never heard that term before. It all seems like it falls under the category sleet. Interesting that there are so many weather phenomena. Love these little life surprises.

  9. I think I’ve seen it before, but I didn’t know the name. Fun way to learn!

  10. Love your poem and thanks for teaching me something new today!

  11. Alice Nine

    We had graupel this year… we didn’t know what it was or what to call it. So glad I now know! Thank you for sharing!

  12. I’ve been educated! Thank you for the slice and the learning!

  13. Well there’s my new learning for the day! Great poem, great word!

  14. I’ll be honest: I wouldn’t have thought there was much potential in a weather poem, but this is wonderful. Frizzle makes me happy and then graupel?? What in the world? How can there be a wonderful word like that that I’ve never heard of.

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