About this time of year, I find myself saying “Can you believe this weather?” a lot, usually on a day that there is sunshine followed by rain followed by snow followed by five more minutes of sunshine and then more snow. And it’s true that the weather is chaotic each spring. But this year, the chaos has been intensified by a new — or at least new to me — weather phenomenon aptly named graupel.

According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, graupel are small, soft pellets created when water droplets below 32 degrees combine with a snow crystal. Graupel are fragile and disintegrate quickly and tend to be softer than hail but firmer than snow. Less violent than sleet, more violent than rain.

We’ve had a lot of graupel over the past few weeks, and I have to assume whoever named graupel was feeling the way I do about the weather anytime it graupels.

It’s not a word that evokes light or cheeriness. If I didn’t know the definition of the word, I’d accept it as an answer to the question “How are you?” Actually, even knowing the definition, I’d accept it, because if someone said, “I’m feeling graupel,” I’d know exactly what they meant — they’re feeling not great. And the culprit is likely the graupel falling from the sky outside.

Graupel sounds an awful lot like the word that Joseph’s brothers and the narrator repeat in the song “Grovel, Grovel” from “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” and yes, I know they’re saying “grovel,” and yes, I will use any excuse to embed a “Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” video, but I think the lyrics could easily be confused with “Graupel, graupel.”

So much so that I’ve been singing “Graupel, graupel, graupel, graupel” — alternating between tenor and soprano — since learning the word a week ago, in the same desperate, dramatic tone as Donny Osmond’s castmates. Because I’m ready for spring and right now, graupel is what’s standing in the way of my seasonal dreams.

Graupel and its accompanying gray skies are, at this point in the year, responsible for our collective seasonal depression. It’s the reason why, on Easter Sunday, we had to wear our heavy coats over our breezy cotton pastel dresses and do our egg hunts indoors, praying we found every dyed hard-boiled egg lest our home take a turn for the smelly.

The snow is a gift that I don’t really want anymore
Did you know spring cleaning can boost your mental health?

In some ways, this early spring ennui is worse than the winter blues of January and February because we’ve had a taste of the good life with a handful of lovely days. Days where the sun has shone and the temperature soared over 50 degrees. When we’ve rolled down our car window and sang along to whatever catchy bop is playing on the radio. When we’ve stocked our freezers with Popsicles, ordered a batch of shorts and T-shirts for the whole family, and said foolish things like, “Can you feel it? Summer is right around the corner!”

And then, bam. The next day, it’s graupeling again. It’s like tasting a fresh strawberry tart from a Parisian cafe, then being served nothing but slop prepared in a Russian prison for the following week. Our vitamin D-deficient eyes, which were bright with hope the day before, grow as gray and dull as the skies that threaten the horizon with pellets of ice and snow. We scroll languidly through the weather app on our phones, searching the entire 10-day forecast for a single sun emoji. There are none.

But it’s finally April, and with the warmer temperatures, we’re likely to see fewer dreary days and more pleasant weather. As I write this, birds are chirping outside and branches on my young trees and shrubs are bursting into buds. The sun’s rays are beaming through my windows, illuminating every corner of my home, inviting me outdoors to bask in its rays. And I may heed its call. But I’ll do so with a measure of wariness. Because I’ve lived in this place long enough to know that for every one nice spring day, we have two days of extreme weather events. Inevitably, in a day or two the skies will turn gray again and deliver some form of unwanted precipitation.

Whether that’s snow, sleet, hail or the April showers that promise to bring May flowers, I’ll feel very graupel about it.