CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Showers and strong thunderstorms dropped plenty of precipitation Friday in north-central West Virginia.

Was it rain? No.

Was it snow? No.

Was it hail? Yes.

Was it graupel? Yes.

Hail vs. Graupel comparison (WBOY)
Hail vs. Graupel comparison (WBOY)

Both kinds of icy precipitation fell Friday making it a confusing conundrum for us Mountaineers.

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Hail is the most popular suspect in this icy mystery as these clear ice pellets usually form inside thunderstorm updrafts.

Because of the moist and speedy lapse rates of these wet air parcels within the thunderstorm cells, the hail is likely to have been picked up and dropped within the cumulonimbus, or storm, clouds before falling to the surface.

This also could explain the thunder and lightning that was seen and heard throughout the mountains, foothills, and lowlands.

Graupel is also a possibility because of the strong cold in the upper levels of the atmosphere as temperatures above the surface for the foothills and mountains were below freezing.

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