It wasn't hail this weekend... It's called graupel

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It was a chilly, sometimes rainy weekend, and some people contacted Action News saying they saw hail mixed in with the wet weather. (WPVI)

It was a chilly, sometimes rainy weekend, and some people contacted Action News saying they saw hail mixed in with the wet weather.

As it turns out, however, it couldn't have been hail. Hail is a "warm weather phenomenon," Action News meteorologist David Murphy explains. It appears what many of you saw was a type of precipitation called graupel.

Never heard of it? Don't feel bad! It doesn't come up very often.

Graupel is a snowflake that forms in a cloud, and hits super-cooled water droplets that are below freezing, but have not turned to ice. That's because some foreign body, such as a grain of sand or sea salt, is keeping the ice from forming.

When it finally falls, it hits the ground in the form of white pellets.

David Murphy takes a closer look and has more photos of graupel in the above video.

Here are some more photos of this apparent graupel:


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