Word of the Day

graupel

audio pronunciation
January 17, 2012
noun
\GROU-pul ("OU" is as in "cloud")\
Definition
: granular snow
Examples
As we sat inside, enjoying the cozy warmth of the fire, the storm deposited an inch of graupel on the deck.

"In counties adjacent to the Illinois-Wisconsin border, graupel (snow enveloped by super-cooled water droplets) or small hail was reported in Kenosha, Racine, Lake Geneva, Wauconda, and Huntley." -- From a weather report by Tom Skilling in the Chicago Tribune, October 28, 2011
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Did You Know?
The word "graupel" is Germanic in origin; it is the diminutive of "Graupe," meaning "pearl barley." According to etymologists, there does seem to be a grain of truth in the assumption that the word grew from the Slavic word "krupa," which has the same meaning. "Graupel" was first seen in an 1889 weather report and has been whirling around in the meteorology field ever since to describe "pellets of snow" or "soft hail" (the latter phrase is an actual synonym of "graupel").

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