Saturday, May 1, 2010

Seen in the Field: Mud Cracks with Snow and Cone-shaped Graupel

Callan Bentley at Mountain Beltway has had a couple posts up recently about mud cracks. And, not being one to pass up a possible mini-meme, I thought I'd start with these: snow on top of dessicated, somewhat fluffy mud. These are from about a week ago, after a graupel storm.
The graupel storm began with agglomerations of tiny round balls and other snow crystals, then this strange, conical graupel started falling.
I've never seen conical graupel before - the ice crystals (snow) are elongated down the length of the little cones, radiating outward from each cone's point. It's as though the cones were once round graupel balls with the ice crystals radiating outward from the center of the balls. I don't know how they formed. Any ideas?

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