New Science Photo: 21

ice pellets
After a very dry winter, we finally had some precipitation. Instead of snow flakes, we got these small, round, pellets of soft ice. What are they called?

Click here for the answer:

This is called graupel. It forms when snowflakes bump into supercooled water droplets. The spheres are just as soft as a snowflake. I had never seen this before we moved to Utah, but we get it here often.