Hail or hail stones refer to frozen rain or droplets of water falling from the clouds. It looks similar to a lump of ice that falls from the sky. Hail may come in different forms and sizes. Some are less than 1 inch in diameter while other stones may reach as big as 8 inches. It is said that bigger hail stones typically originate higher up in the sky compared to the small ones. Hail forms from thunderclouds at specific freezing temperatures during weather disturbances in many parts of the world. The following are some facts about hail:
Fact 1: Hail is more common in regions where there are high mountains. This is especially true for regions with tropical climates. In these regions, thunderclouds often form near the mountains and with just the right freezing air temperature, hail stones will form.
Fact 2: People in the past used to ring church bells just to prevent hail. During the Middle Ages, people from different parts of Europe were said to ring church bells so loudly in order to prevent hail formation from thunderclouds, even though this activity was not actually effective.
Fact 3: An estimated 1 billion US dollars of property and crop damage is caused by hail storms every single year in the US alone. This data is based from the studies of NOAA or the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. Most commonly affected states are those in the central parts of the US.
Fact 4: The largest hail stone ever recorded in the US weighed almost 2 pounds. At 8 inches in diameter, this particular stone fell from the skies of Vivian, South Dakota.
Fact 5: Hail storms can cause flooding. Most cases of hail storms may not necessarily result to flooding from accumulated stones. The only time when flooding occurs is that when there is heavy downpour of hail that causes blockage of drains and waterways and therefore causing floods.
Fact 6: Hail may fall from the sky at a speed of 100 mph. Big stones basically heavier and fall from clouds that are higher up in the sky. At the right height and weight, these stones can fall down at a very high speed causing danger to people and property.
Fact 7: Some hail stones contain other materials like leaves or insects. In some areas of the world, the frozen droplets of water often come in contact with other materials as they fall down from the clouds.
Fact 8: India was the site of the most deadly hail storm in history. Back in 1888, at least 230 people died due to hail in Moradabad, India.
Fact 9: The hail storm in Denver, Colorado back in July 11, 1990 was the US’ costliest. Damage due to hail during this day reached 625 million dollars.
Fact 10: About 24 people in the US are hurt by hail every single year. Fatalities from hailstorms are not anymore common in the entire country but plenty of people still get injured from the hail storms that commonly occur from March up to June.