TEXAS — On Friday, people in South and Central Texas saw what almost looked like hail or sleet, but it was actually something called graupel.

  • Graupel is like a pellet of snow
  • Haboob is massive dust storm
  • Firenado is a spin-up of fire

"There's a lot of funny words that are in the weather community that a lot of other people might not know," said Spectrum News Meteorologist Adam Krueger.

Graupel fell in parts of Texas Friday due to the extremely cold weather.

"Friday was funny because it felt like everybody learned a new word all of a sudden, this word graupel that we've been using all day long," Krueger said.

Krueger says graupel is a little different from sleet.

“Sleet is like a clear piece of ice. Graupel is like a pellet of snow. It just forms differently in the air and that's why it looks different on the ground," Krueger said.

But graupel is not the only unusual weather term.

"One that came to mind after graupel is haboob," said Krueger. "A haboob is a term for a massive dust storm. You may have seen video of this out in the southwest or in Phoenix for example. Just these big dust storms that take over the city."

Some weather terms sound like they're from a movie.

"Firenado is a thing, and we don't see that much here, but more so in California where they get a lot of wildfires,” Krueger said. “It’s simply just a spin-up of the fire, where there’s a lot of lift and that vertical motion just spins a little bit and turns into what looks like a tornado made of fire."

Some weather terms, like bombogenesis almost sound fake.

“It actually is a meteorological term, it's in textbooks. It happens when an area of low pressure or a storm system rapidly intensifies. The pressure drops big time."

Bombogenesis is sometimes called a "bomb cyclone," which can cause powerful nor'easter storms.

"It is kind of a fun thing to introduce a new word to a lot of people," said Krueger.