Did you know that for hail to form the temperature of the top of the cumulonimbus cloud must be colder than -20C and a large portion of the cloud will be below freezing. For this reason, severe thunderstorms produce larger hailstones.

Hailstones fall fast, making it less likely that they will melt before hitting the ground. That’s why our yards sometimes looks like someone dumped bags of ice all over them after a hail storm.
A hailstone the size of a baseball (about 75mm) weighs about 150g and can fall at speeds of 100mph. This can cause a lot of damage, able to wipe out entire crops in only a few minutes during or make roofs look like Swiss cheese. According to the meteorological departments of governments all over the world, hailstones must have at least ¾ inch of diameter to become severe and cause a substantial amount of damage to life or property.
The property damage can be as minimal as a few broken shingles or the destruction of buildings.

Hail is interesting from a scientific point of view, but not so much when it comes to property. With the hail season upon us, be sure to have your property inspected before and after a storm to ensure that your home is in good shape!

FUN ACTIVITY: A fun thing to do with your kids is to cut a hailstone in half so you can see rings of ice. Some rings are milky white while others are clear. Counting the layers will indicate how many times the hailstone traveled to the top of the storm cloud. It is thought that the clear layers form when the hailstone is in a part of the cloud where the temperature is just below freezing – so the water freezes slowly over the hailstone and air bubbles can escape. The milky white layers of ice form when the air temperature is well below freezing and a water droplet freezes immediately upon colliding with the hailstone, trapping the air bubbles.

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