Still Winter

Haven’t seen much of this lately. There has been much rain and thawing. So when the snow comes, it feels magical. The landscape becomes clean again under a blanket of white, and the dirty receding piles disappear.

At lunchtime yesterday we sat in the truck and watched graupel hit the windshield. Graupel takes the shape of small soft pellets, similar to hail but not hard and icy. This particular kind of snow forms when supercooled water droplets in the atmosphere condense on snowflakes. A layer of graupel on top of the snowpack looks sort of like an explosion of styrofoam pellets. It never lasts long, and soon the big fat “normal” flakes were coming down like crazy.

I was just reading that some northwest native tribes got their weather information from frogs and birds. Seems much more reliable for this part of the country than asking a groundhog.

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