Graupeling for words to describe nature's emanations
The first round of snow hit that evening. It was quite unusual – pelletized like Dippin Dots or IttiBitz ice cream, created by flash freezing the sugary dairy mix in liquid nitrogen. Something similar must have occurred naturally over my home town of Stillwater. The American Meteorology Society (AMS) describes this frozen phenomenon as graupel. Evidently it’s a cousin of hail, which we see in the summer-time when thunder storms become severe. This graupel was great for shoveling. I’ve got a low-tech, but amazingly effective, snow scooper, which just pushed it out the way and, with a quick twist, dumped it over. The pellets just poured right out.
That was only the first wave of the storm. Over the next 24 hours, another half-foot of snow fell. The neighbor across the street was really fired up about getting his snow blower running for the first time this year and promised to shovel my driveway after all was done with this winter storm. However, it took so long to start the disused engine, that I scooped him.
Getting back to Hawaii (a very attractive thought at the moment), I once visited their namesake “Big Island” and saw lots of lava from Kilauea. There I learned that Hawaiians differentiate flows as “aa” – rough, versus “pahoehoe” – smooth. (See details by volcanologist J. M. Rhodes.)
Having hand-shoveled snow for half a century, I can readily characterize their types. However, I must hand it to the Hawaiians for putting words to what Mother Nature puts in ones path. More snow is forecast later this week for Minnesota. I predict that this may precipitate many Minnesotans to have an "Aa, ha" and book an impromptu getaway to Hawaii or another warm State!