I found this:
Late last season, I was skiing near my home in Taos when a thunderstorm blew in, depositing two inches of a snow that came down like tiny Styrofoam pellets, yet skied like (Jolly) Green Giant cream-corn. Dreamy. Have you ever skied this stuff, and does it have a name?
-Katie Cox, via the Internet
You are not far off the mark with your cream-corn analogy, because that dreamy stuff is called graupel, which means "little grain" in German. And while I've skied it, I've never experienced the quantity you lucked into last year. Usually it falls for just a few minutes at a time, rarely doing more than bouncing across the hardpack in shallow, swirling drifts. Graupel-it's also known as soft hail-is formed when teensy-weensy (sub-50-micron) supercooled droplets of water in the atmosphere adhere to ice crystals. Remarkably, the droplets have so much surface tension they remain liquid at temperatures down to minus 40 degrees Celsius. When they hit the ice crystals, though, that tension is disrupted enough for the droplets to freeze instantly and form amorphous pellets a few millimeters across and 20 percent as dense as solid ice. Look for the stuff during winter thunderstorms (though that's not an absolute precondition), and get ready to ski some grau.