Graupel Fell From the Sky in Riga One Morning

I  walked out the door of the hotel that cold morning, hoping to catch a sunrise like I did in Minsk and a sunset such as the one in Helsinki — only to find snow on the ground; and snow was still falling…

Riga graupel

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

…but a closer look revealed to me something which I do not recall ever seeing before: the precipitation was more like puffy miniature snowballs than snowflakes.

Graupel Fell From the Sky in Riga One Morning

Riga graupel

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Looking up this weather phenomenon later, I found out that the term for this form of precipitation is called graupel — which is defined by the National Weather Service of the United States as “Same as snow pellets or small hail”, with which I disagree because hail is usually hard; and these pellets were as soft as snow — and as a lay meteorologist, I had never heard of it.

Riga graupel

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

At first, I thought the snow — or graupel — combined with the cold air would ruin the morning…

Riga graupel

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

…until I realized that the streets of Riga were practically deserted — and then I approached the Old Town area.

Riga graupel

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

I then realized how peaceful, serene and picturesque was the city that morning — almost as if I had Latvia all to myself.

Riga graupel

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

The greenery alongside the banks of the Pilsētas Kanāls were instead covered with a soft frozen white blanket.

Riga graupel

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

I reflected upon the reflections of the canal and realized that I was about to have a mellow time exploring at my pace the Old Town area of the city.

Summary

The morning — and, ultimately, the day — turned out to be a nice one spent in Riga; and I intend to post additional photographs in future articles.

All photographs ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

One thought on “Graupel Fell From the Sky in Riga One Morning”

  1. cheeseburger says:

    Well done! That is my aim, to make the best of each situation. What a splendid reward you got!

    And thanks for introducing us to graupel – have to admit that my first guess from the headline was that it would be a …fish…! Now I know not to run for cover if graupel is in the forecast.

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