Snow showers on Monday produced a special kind of snow called graupel. Looking something like tiny Styrofoam or Dippin' Dots ice cream, graupel is actually snow that has morphed into something else by having fallen through a layer of water droplets in the air which had cooled below the freezing point but had not turned to ice because of their status of just hanging in the air as individual droplets.

Water in this state is called, "supercooled," and it immediately globs onto the snowflakes and freezes without forming into the crystalline structure of the snowflake. This produces a hybrid kind of snowflake: part snow, part sleet, part air.

The conditions required to produce graupel typically don't last very long so graupel rarely accumulates more than just enough to cover the ground. Usually — as was the case Monday — the surface temperatures are near freezing while the graupel is falling, and so it is often mixed with rain, snow, or freezing rain.

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