WEST MICHIGAN-- A few pictures came into the newsroom Saturday of what appeared to be hail. The pebbly white icy dots that hit areas of Michigan like, Holland, Hudsonville and Muskegon is actually graupel.
Graupel looks like hail, but it's a little softer and forms differently. Graupel forms when a cloud produces snow, that snow then hits an area of very cold water droplets that stick to the snowflake. The result is a small icy pellet that looks like Styrofoam or Dippin Dot ice cream. Graupel is white in color.
Hail looks more icy, it's mostly clear. It also forms differently. Hail forms during thunderstorms and is ice from the cloud to the ground. It does not change the way graupel does.
FOX 17 Viewer Arthur Markus sent in this photo from Walker: