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(also soft hail), a solid type of atmospheric precipitation in the form of opaque, white, frosted spherical pellets with a diameter of 2–5 mm. Graupel particles, in contrast to snowflakes, do not have a discernible crystalline form. They are created by coagulation processes (seeCOAGULATION OF CLOUD ELEMENTS) as snow crystals pass through clouds containing supercooled drops of water. Upon collision, the drops settle on the crystals and form snowlike pellets. Graupel generally falls when the air temperature is approximately 0°C.

References in periodicals archive ?
Many of the terms are endearing, such as anvil zits, cloud streets, horse latitudes, knuckles, mamma clouds, steam clouds and, of course, graupel.
I found myself reading about graupel, not because I was looking to write about weather words, but because I thought it was a possible sign of spring.
After hearing about graupel, I started looking up spring weather words.
Somewhere in between was a flurry of the rarelyseen graupel, which the golfers described as "little balls of snow.
However, for mixed-phase clouds, where interactions between more than two categories (cloud water, rain water, cloud ice, snow, graupel, hail, etc.
Attention was also paid to the occurrence of small graupels (minigraupels) and their aggregates.
In spite of these difficulties, which may explain the large standard deviations of the main snowflake parameters in Table 6, seven main types of snow element aggregates were selected : 1) aggregates with prevailing needle type crystals; 2) aggregates with prevailing sheaths; 3) small crystals (bullets, columns, small plates); 4) medium size snow crystals (large plates, crystals with sector like branches, small stellar crystals); 5) large dendritic and stellar crystals; 6) aggregates of small graupels (minigraupels) and spherocrystals; 7) aggregates of frozen or half-frozen drops.
f) Admittedly the accuracy of the size distribution and composition parameters of aggregates of small graupels and of partly frozen drops (Types 6 and 7 in Table 6) is not sufficient for making conclusions of general validity.
and beachside residents who mistook the graupel -- broken bits of hail -- that blanketed their neighborhoods for snow.