Take Cover! 4 Things to Know About Hail Storms!
Have you ever experienced hail? Hail storms are uncommon in many areas of the world, so depending on where you live, hail might be a foreign concept to you.
You want to be prepared for your first experience with hail. Whether it’s a full hail storm or a brief hail shower, this weather phenomenon is both fascinating and potentially dangerous!
Read on to learn all about hail.
1. What Is Hail?
Hail is a form of icy precipitation. Unlike snow or sleet, hail is solid. It comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, but it’s usually round. Hail can happen during thunderstorms or as a standalone weather phenomenon (though this is uncommon).
Because hail is frozen, if you catch it in your hand, it will melt in seconds. You can see it bounce on the ground if you’re lucky enough to watch from indoors. It’s best to not drive during a serious hailstorm.
2. Does Hail Only Form During Winter?
This might surprise you, but hail isn’t necessarily a winter event. Most hail storms happen during the spring and summer because come alongside thunderstorms.
But why is that? How does hail form even when it’s not cold enough for snow to fall, or even to wear a jacket outside?
During thunderstorms, water particles from clouds can be thrust upward instead of falling down like rain. When the water goes high up enough into the atmosphere, it freezes.
The first time that hail freezes, it isn’t heavy enough to fall down. It has to freeze several times before it creates a hail storm.
3. How Big Is Hail?
The size of hail depends on how many times it freezes. The more time that it spends in the part of the cloud that is freezing, the larger that it will get. More water droplets will surround the hailstone and freeze around it.
Most people experience hail that is between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch. These sizes are referred to as BB hail (like BB pellets) and marble hail.
That said, standard hail can be as large as 4 1/2 inches (this is softball hail). The largest hailstone so far was 8 inches.
4. What Kind of Damage Can Hail Cause?
When the hail is small enough, it isn’t likely to cause any damage. That said, hailstones that are an inch or larger will hurt you if you’re outside at the time. Hail that’s that large may even cause damage to cars or windows.
If you experience car damage due to hail, it’s best to call for “hail repair near me“ so experts can handle it.
Hail Storms: Fascinating, But Dangerous
Hail storms are fun to watch from the comfort of your home, but it’s best to stay indoors if the hail is too large. If you see BB hail, consider sticking your hand outside to catch it so you can look at it up close! If the hail is large, don’t try this at home.
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