Graupel attack!

open thread_55.jpg

Always exciting to learn new words to describe the world around us. Who could forget the "Polar Vortex" introduced to us a couple of years ago to describe a cold front dropping down out of Canada and extending its frigid fingers all the way to Galveston?
And we know what a "Nor'easter" is, gobs of snow and freezing rain coming from the eastern Atlantic paralyzing New England states and Eastern Canada.
So it comes with a surprise to learn that last weekend we had a couple of bouts of graupel, a kind of soft hail, sometimes called hominy snow, or snow pellets. It is precipitation that forms when supercooled droplets collect on falling snowflakes. It fell for about 20 minutes and collected about 2 inches deep on the ground. Yesterday, a repeat for 5 minutes.
Got to admit, I've never seen this type of weather event before up here in the PNW.
Good to know the MSM has a word for it. They have been using it a lot in the last few days here, but I can't wait for them to get back to using "sunbreaks" on a daily basis.
I'm done with winter.
We would normally migrate to SoCal for a few weeks each year to break up the winter months into two short spells of cold and rain, and snow. When we returned, spring was always in the air. But not anymore. Rain, sleet, and snow extend into the spring months of April, May, and June.
And now Graupel.
And California is having some strange and brutal weather of their own. Heavy snow in the passes, downpours of rain, floods, and even twisters.
Heh, Californians are learning what tornados are referred to in the South.
I am glad we didn't go this year as we probably would not have been able to return, as the passes have been closed or the Interstate was shut down.
Apparently, the I-5 is closed at Castaic due to floods undermining an overpass, and at Siskiyou pass due to heavy snow.
I don't know if this is the new normal but it wreaks havoc on the planting season.
I have directly sowed some lettuce and broccoli, but they will probably rot in the ground before the ground warms enough to germinate. Oh well, they were last years seeds, so good experiment anyway.
This week I will start up my seed room operation gearing it for outdoor transplanting in mid May. I'm about a month behind.
My potato starts from last years harvest are growing out of the boxes in the garage. They need to go in the ground as soon as possible before they start to rot.
I've covered my 15'x 22' starter garden here in suburban Vancouver with sheets of plastic to keep the soil somewhat dryer in the hopes of being dry enough to plant something late this month.
It just needs to stop raining. Damn.
I'm happy to read that others here are already planting and I wish them a great harvest. I would like to hear what kind of progress you are having.
Green with envy am I.
Thread is open.

Share
up
18 users have voted.

Comments

usefewersyllables's picture

We get it occasionally in the fall and spring, generally at the same time as a thundersnow. And sometimes in June we get several inches of real honest-to-Gawd hail: about to years ago, they got 6 inches of hail with the hailstones between 1/2" and 3" diameter(!!) down south of Parker. Lots of people lost their roofs with that one... We also are still due for at least one or two more branch-stripper/heart-attack snows after the trees bud out. It may be 75 next week, but we're nowhere close to being out of the woods yet.

We're getting light snow today in the Denver metro area. Nobody in their right mind plants anything outdoors until about Mothers Day, and you still have a 50/50 chance of losing it to a late snow or a massive hailstorm even then. I'll be starting some seeds indoors here soon, hoping that I'll be able to protect my little patio herb garden from the freezings and poundings that are certain to come later on in the spring.

Anthropogenic climate change is certainly showing up as increased chaos in local weather patterns. We're still in a massive drought here in the rain shadow of the Rockies, with nothing in the forecast at the moment. But all that can change in a heartbeat, if a tropical storm comes across Baja California heading northeast, and sneaks moisture up around the Rockies from the south...

up
12 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

earthling1's picture

@usefewersyllables
We have small shadows here behind Mts. Olympia, Hood, and Adams. The entire Cascade range acts as a rain shadow creating dryer eastern regions of Washington and Oregon.
I would imagine being up on that plateau gives a shorter growing season. I sympathize with your conditions as they are similar to my own.
Thanks for stopping by.

up
10 users have voted.

Neither Russia nor China is our enemy.
Neither Iran nor Venezuela are threatening America.
Cuba is a dead horse, stop beating it.

usefewersyllables's picture

@earthling1

the historical weather, it has snowed every month of the year except for August around these parts... So the growing season is really short indeed.

There is a local native bushy vegetation called scrub oak or bear oak (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quercus_berberidifolia) that is what savvy locals watch to know when to plant in a given year. It's similar to mesquite and chaparral in appearance. But basically, we don't plant *anything* outdoors until the scrub oak has leafed in nice and green. Some years, it doesn't leaf in until June. That's a dead giveaway...

The local garden centers, Home Depot, Lowes, and Mickeymart make *bank* selling plants to people 3 or 4 times each spring. And there are always new people moving in who will buy them and put them out, and then rebuy them and put them out again... Lather, rinse, repeat. There are some in-ground daffodils already sticking their heads up, and all I can think is "it's your funeral". I always feel bad for the non-native trees, because they are the ones that suffer the most from the late branch-stripper snows.

up
9 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

earthling1's picture

@usefewersyllables
sounds like the way to go for you.
I had a small 10' x 17' temporary storage tent with a sturdy steel framework that I stripped the opaque plastic covering from and replaced it with clear plastic. It worked great until I outgrew (literally) it. I kept a 55 gallon drum of water in the middle of it that moderated the temperature when it got below freezing outside. If it got well below freezing I would add a few buckets of water to get the plants through the cold snap.
Don't know how well it would hold up to the kind of hail you have described though.

up
6 users have voted.

Neither Russia nor China is our enemy.
Neither Iran nor Venezuela are threatening America.
Cuba is a dead horse, stop beating it.

snoopydawg's picture

@usefewersyllables

Again….

up
8 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

earthling1's picture

@snoopydawg
I wouldn't have been able to get home through Utah either. We would have been stuck in SoCal.
Hope you get a break in the weather. Are your trees starting to bud out?

up
8 users have voted.

Neither Russia nor China is our enemy.
Neither Iran nor Venezuela are threatening America.
Cuba is a dead horse, stop beating it.

snoopydawg's picture

@earthling1

and have been for a few weeks, but they seem to have stalled going any further. Usually the lilacs are in full bloom. They were my grandmother’s favorite flowers and she would sing me a song about cotton popping on the apricot trees so yesterday I took a picture that looked like cotton popping on the lilac bushes… I’m in a rush but I’ll post it later unless I get stuck in the snow somewhere…

up
9 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

snoopydawg's picture

People have already died across Europe because ambulances took too long to get there or they couldn’t get there at all.

up
8 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

@snoopydawg

they charged me $500. No, my insurance wouldn't cover it.
Next time, I'll walk if I can.

up
7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@QMS

It’s going to be interesting to see how long people put up with this nonsense. But from what I’ve seen the last few years I’m not expecting much of a fight. Very sad.

up
8 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

to double down on military aid to Ukraine!

https://wincountry.com/2023/04/04/u-s-pledges-another-2-6-billion-in-wea...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. unveiled $2.6 billion worth of military assistance that includes three air surveillance radars, anti-tank rockets and fuel trucks, the Pentagon announced on Tuesday, as Ukraine prepares to mount a spring offensive against Russia’s invasion.

“We do expect the Ukrainians to put forward or begin some sort of their own spring offensive in the weeks ahead,” Ambassador Julianne Smith, the U.S. permanent representative to NATO, said on Monday.

Tuesday’s U.S. weapons aid package was comprised of $2.1 billion from Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) funding which allows President Joe Biden’s administration to buy weapons from industry rather than from U.S. weapons stocks.

The USAI package included additional munitions for NASAMS air defenses that the U.S. and allies have given to Kyiv, precision aerial munitions, Soviet-era GRAD rockets, anti-tank rockets, armored bridging systems used in assaults, and 105 fuel trailers, along with funding for training and maintenance.

The remaining $500 million came from Presidential Drawdown Authority funds, which allows the president to take from current U.S. stocks in an emergency.

That segment of the aid package included a half a dozen types of munitions, including munitions for Patriot air defense systems, tank munitions, and High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).

Last month, Leopard 2 battle tanks pledged by Germany and Portugal reached Ukraine. The package announced Tuesday includes 61 heavy fuel tankers and recovery vehicles to help disabled heavy equipment like tanks.

The U.S. has now pledged more than $35.2 billion worth of security assistance to Ukraine since Feb. 24, 2022.

up
9 users have voted.
earthling1's picture

@humphrey
We're in the quintupling down range now. If not more.
In fact, while I don't know how much sextupling is, it sure feels like thats happening to us too.

up
5 users have voted.

Neither Russia nor China is our enemy.
Neither Iran nor Venezuela are threatening America.
Cuba is a dead horse, stop beating it.

Graupel isn't uncommon here, especially once you get up higher. As it falls through warmer air it can melt and become water or mostly evaporate and you never get anything. Up high though it comes in it's lightweight almost hail like form. Places that get lots of weather, and most of it in the frozen water form, have a lot of ways of describing the different kinds of snow, ice, frozen rain.

up
6 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@ban nock

Graupel isn't uncommon here, especially once you get up higher. As it falls through warmer air it can melt and become water or mostly evaporate and you never get anything. Up high though it comes in it's lightweight almost hail like form. Places that get lots of weather, and most of it in the frozen water form, have a lot of ways of describing the different kinds of snow, ice, frozen rain.

As children growing up in Colorado Springs, Colorado, my siblings and I gave slushy graupel the Seussian name "oobleck"......

Wink

up
6 users have voted.

"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides

I will mention what I have at least a couple of times before, regarding planting schedules.
With climate change, I have thought everything we know about traditional planting and harvest would be obsolete. Temps here in east Texas will drop to very near freezing on Friday. Until then, it is shorts and t-shirt weather.
My brother planted as per life time experience, had 5 of 38 plants survive the cold snap that came 2 weeks later. He is having to start all over. The Farmer's Almanac is a mere suggestion anymore.
Good luck to everyone, and may you have a harvest.

up
5 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

earthling1's picture

@on the cusp
collated several lifetimes of experience to form reasonably accurate forecasts based on Mother Nature herself.
Anthropological climate change trumps all past records and renders it impossible to predict the weather even a month in advance.
The Farmers Almanac is destined for the dustbin of history.
Get your copy for posterity. Could be worth some real money someday.
Think, "This is what the weather used to be like in ancient times".
Thanks for the post.

up
5 users have voted.

Neither Russia nor China is our enemy.
Neither Iran nor Venezuela are threatening America.
Cuba is a dead horse, stop beating it.

yellopig's picture

I liked it. When you go out and kick it around, it floats and swirls like those tiny beads of styrofoam, but without the static cling.

We’re having Spring this week. Today’s high was around 56°, will slowly rise to about 90° by Monday, and then that’s it for Spring. Unknw

up
6 users have voted.

“We may not be able to change the system, but we can make the system irrelevant in our lives and in the lives of those around us.”—John Beckett

snoopydawg's picture

@yellopig

We’ve gotten another foot of snow since last night and by gawd I’m ready to see the sun and the spring! I don’t know how many times I’ve said to Sam, "good grief it’s snowing." Good grief!

1B32191B-3897-4697-9282-323E7AA11D46.jpeg
up
7 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg Or are you at home with my home bound client?
Does my client have sufficient special treats no matter the location?
I am so sorry you are in this constant snow, wish you some sun, some warm air, chica.
Still, I am always concerned about my client's special treats and felt compelled to check on her happiness and well being.

up
5 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

snoopydawg's picture

@on the cusp

I went to park city today and although I was the only person on the road on the way up I had to deal with fog, snow, low hanging fog and then lots of snow on the way home with less than 10 feet visibility. My driveway was clear when I left, but 8 inches of snow when I got back….

Your client spent the day inside on the bed and thinking how lucky she is that she wasn’t stuck in the backyard during the storm and knowing that once I got home she would get the fries that spilled out of the thingy and then be spoiled rotten with the treats she had me get for her yesterday as i chauffeured her black dawg butt around the town. Tomorrow she knows that no matter the weather I will take her for her walk…where she will run to her heart’s content and then she will get more treats that she doesn’t have to buy with her own money.

It’s nice to know that I haven’t been imagining how much snow we have gotten this winter.

1983 was the last year that we got so much snow that we had flooding problems everywhere across the state. I can’t begin to imagine what this spring will bring. All the rivers are running very high already and in a few days we are going to have high temperatures.

I just saw a picture from the local ski resort where the chairs on the chair lift are buried in the snow. The resort has gotten 600 inches this year alone on top of what it got all winter. I’ve never even heard of that happening before. All I can say is…

GOOD GRIEF!

up
5 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

@snoopydawg client's happiness and well being. She will enjoy her romp tomorrow, even if you don't, but so be it.
Snoopy, or should I say, Snoopo, will this snow and flood coming help GSL rise at all?

up
3 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

janis b's picture

@snoopydawg

How are you and your house situated regarding any threat of flooding from the melt? Do rivers run through or near Ogden? Will people and homes in the vicinity be threatened if there is flooding?

Stay safe you two and hopefully all others.

I hope you got some treats for yourself as well ; ).

up
4 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@janis b

My house doesn’t have much of a threat for flooding except for the patio gets a couple inches of water from the backyard melting and I have a sump pump in the basement. It’s getting old so hopefully it’s going to work this spring. Other than that my neighborhood isn’t threatened by any flooding. But lots of areas around the rivers will be if the temperatures go up too quickly. Here’s how high the Ogden river is already.

This isn’t the canyon I drove yesterday. Ogden canyon is very narrow with sharp curves whilst Weber canyon is a 2 lane, mostly open farmland type country with 2 narrow stretches and sharp curves about 2 miles long. Absolutely peaceful drive except in the narrow spots. I passed 3 cars and 4 trucks yesterday on my way to park city. The other option is through SLC and up Parley’s canyon which is nerve racking every time I’ve taken it. During snow…I just won’t drive it. Yesterday it had chain controls and even then it’s still full of accidents. Give me Weber any day!

Other areas of the state will see flooding and hopefully the changes that have been made since 83 will help. But since we’ve been in a drought for years lots of homes have been built in flood plains which probably can’t get insurance. The guv has made April a flood prevention month…not sure what that will do…but companies are already offering sandbags. Guess we are in a wait and see for later this week and onward..

As for the GSL it hasn’t just been the drought that has caused the level to drop, but lots of water has been diverted elsewhere and the stupid legislature decided not to allow excess water to go back into it this year. The people who own water rights didn’t want to change their ways! Grrr.

Thee Church is donating millions of gallons of water that is supposed to go to the lake. We’ll see.

up
5 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

janis b's picture

@snoopydawg

It looks like the Weber River is already transporting half its load. What does that mean in your experience with regard to the fact that it is only early April?

Anyway, I hope that all the melt will progress slowly in a way that protects the land and residences that it flows through. I also hope the church carefully considers a balance.

up
3 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@janis b

to make room for the spring runoff and it flows into the Weber river. It’s also getting water from just the land around it. It’s a favorite for river sports during the summer and has been too low for anyone to do anything but float down it.

Hopefully we will see Powell get refreshed this year too. They have been letting water out of flaming gorge dam to help Powell and the Colorado and green river are influenced by it. I think the Colorado is. We spent lots of time on the green back in my youth.

It’s going to hit 70 Monday but it’s not supposed to cause many problems. We’ll see.

up
1 user has voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

janis b's picture

@snoopydawg

of the general area. I never did get to that part of Utah.

I was camped at Yellowstone when an early morning snow started to fall. As quickly as possible I got out of there. Only an hour or two later the road was a closed, and this was June 9th! I'd had it with camping in ice and snow even further North in Canada. The landscape and lakes were stunning, but at that point I was ready for some warmth. I travelled 8-9 hours South in one go. I spent the next month in the Canyonland areas of Southern Utah, where then I sometimes had to find shelter from the blazing sun. It was definitely my most memorable time travelling across America. It was fascinating to be in those canyons and see what was left after all the water retreated. The carvings and colours are other worldly.

I hope the whole of Utah gets a chance to revive.

up
1 user has voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@janis b

Seeing the trees coated with snow because of all the moisture in the air is breathtaking. We went cross country skiing there one winter and boy was it something to behold. We were told not to bother the buffalo because it could mean life or death for them if they had to run, but one parked its butt right next to the trail we came up and since it was below zero we had to chance going by it.

Sadly this is the only picture I have on my iPad from then.

590D721C-9D66-485A-A461-A7B4C5C51665.jpeg

Glad you got to enjoy S Utah. It’s one place I’ve spent little time in because it just doesn’t interest me. But I’m hoping to get down to canyon lands soon now that it’s stopped being winter. My that just seemed to go on forever.

up
1 user has voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

janis b's picture

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg

of frozen air. I can only imagine what it might taste like.

Those look more like deer or elk?

up
1 user has voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@janis b

Smile yes those are deer. The buffalo are still on slides that I haven’t copied yet. Unfortunately Yellowstone lodge was closed for the season so we stayed in a motel. A snowcat took us out 8 miles and the guy said it was 30 below zero. Not sure if he was kidding but it was cold. But we warmed up quickly and started shucking clothes. The buffalo we played chicken with was only 5 feet off the trail. He didn’t move as we skied by one by one. Fun trip!

up
1 user has voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.