Hazy Air Ice Lightning

BY: LAUREN BRUMBACK

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What, When, Where, and How? (Inside left)

What are needed for the storm to form?

Hailstones start as small ice particles that grow primarily by accretion; to grow large, they require abundant water droplets. As the hailstone moves up and down through a storm, it collides with water droplets and grows larger.

When are these types of storms most common?

Hailstorms most commonly occur in the summer, spring, and fall months. The majority of the storms occur between May and September.

Where in the U.S. do these storms occur?

Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming meet, known as "Hail Alley". Hail in this region occurs between the months of March and October during the afternoon and evening hours, with the bulk of the occurrences from May through September.

How does this type of severe weather form?

Hail forms when thunderstorm updrafts are strong enough to carry water droplets well above the freezing level. This freezing process forms a hailstone, which can grow as additional water freezes onto it. Eventually, the hailstone becomes too heavy for the updrafts to support it and it falls to the ground.

The Deets! (Inside middle)

Is there a scale used to measure the intensity of a Hailstorm?

Torro Hailstorm Intensity Scale.

How is Hail named and classified?Hail can be classified into three stages of development: grauple, small hail and hailstones.

• Grauple: Soft, opaque hail with a snowflake-like structure that bounces off of hard surfaces, also referred to as snow pellets.

• Small hail: Has a higher density than grauple, and is usually semi-transparent and rounded, typically up to a 1/5 inch in diameter.

• Hailstones: Round stones of ice, with layers that look like an onion. The layers are formed while the hail is rising and falling in the updrafts.

What technology/tools do meteorologists use to monitor Hail?

Vocab. (Inside right)

Hailstone- A pellet of hail.


GR- The reporting code for hail 5 mm (0.20 in) or greater.


GS- Anything smaller than GR hailstones.


Grauple- Soft, opaque hail with a snowflake-like structure that bounces off of hard surfaces, also referred to as snow pellets.


Megacryometeor- Is a very large chunk of ice which, despite sharing many textural, hydro-chemical and isotopic features detected in large hailstones, is formed under unusual atmospheric conditions which clearly differ from those of the cumulonimbus cloud scenario (i.e. clear-sky conditions

The DISASTER Plan! (Back left)

How does one prepare for the storm?

*If you have trees near your home, they should be trimmed regularly. Keep an eye out for any branches that could potentially fall on your home during a storm.

*You should get your roof inspected to make sure there isn’t anything that could make the roof particularly susceptible to hail damage.

What should someone do if they were caught in a hailstorm?

What to do if you are caught in a hail storm while in an automobile:

  • Most importantly, stop driving. If you see a safe place close-by (like inside a garage, under a highway overpass or under a service station awning), drive to it as soon as you can. Make sure you pull completely off the highway.
  • Do NOT leave the vehicle until it stops hailing. Your car might get dented, but unlike you, the car won’t get a concussion.
  • Stay away from car windows. Cover your eyes with something, like a piece of clothing. If possible, get onto the floor faced down or lay down on the seat with your back to the windows.
  • Put very small children under you and cover their eyes.

What effects should one expect from a hailstorm?

Depending on size, hail can cause a variety of damage. The most common damage in terms of insurance claims is damage to houses and vehicles. Hail pounding onto vehicles dents the body panels. The larger the hail, the deeper the dents. Side panels may also be damaged with rebounding from the ground onto the side of the vehicle. Effects of hail damaged cars with dented panels can sometimes be seen for weeks or even months after a hailstorm.

What type of clean-up/ recovery should one expect from a hailstorm?

Dented cars and broken glass windows.

Lets See The Sites! (Back middle)