Spring weather in Colorado sure can be interesting. We do get to see all four seasons during that timeframe: winter, spring, summer, and fall all seem to make an appearance.

While, if you've lived in Colorado for a while, you've gotten used to snow, rain, lightening, the threat of tornadoes and even earthquakes (though they're not weather-related,) hearing the term, "graupel," may confuse you.

Spring rolls in during March, and with it Colorado can almost count on a big snow storm to happen in spring; some of the biggest snow storms of the "season" have happened in March.

Then, April comes around and things start to warm up, finally. With the warming temperatures, but Colorado still be confused about what season it is, you may start to hear the term, "graupel." It doesn't come up often, that's for sure.

What is Graupel When it Comes to Colorado Weather?

I've lived in Colorado nearly my entire life, and when I heard weather people talking about "graupel being out there," I thought they had invented a new word.

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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).


Colorado is Special When it Comes to the Strange 'Pellet-Snow'

In 2019, 9News ran a story about graupel, stating that Colorado is one of the few states to actually get graupel.

We don’t keep graupel stats but it is a lot more common in Colorado compared to most states.


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