Hail


Hail

Hail is a form of precipitation which consists of balls or irregular lumps of ice (hailstones). Hailstones usually consist mostly of water ice and measure between 5 and 150 millimeters in diameter, with the larger stones coming from severe thunderstorms. [cite web | last = | first = | authorlink = | coauthors = | year = | url = http://www.weatherzone.com.au/misc/glossary.jsp?letter=H | title = Weather Glossary | format = html | work = | publisher = Weatherzone
accessdate =
] Hail is only produced by cumulonimbi (thunderclouds), usually at the front of the storm system, and is composed of transparent ice or alternating layers of transparent and translucent ice at least 1 mm thick. The METAR code for hail 5 mm or greater in diameter is GR, while smaller hailstones and graupel are coded GS. Unlike ice pellets, they are layered and can be irregular and clumped together.

Hail formation

Hail forms in storm clouds when supercooled water droplets freeze on contact with condensation nuclei, such as dust. The storm's updraft blows the hailstones to the upper part of the cloud. The updraft dissipates and the hailstones fall down, back into the updraft, and are lifted up again. The hailstone gains an ice layer and grows increasingly larger with each ascent. Once a hailstone becomes too heavy to be supported by the storm's updraft, it falls out of the cloud.

In large hailstones, latent heat released by further freezing may melt the outer shell of the hailstone. The hailstone then may undergo 'wet growth', where the liquid outer shell collects other smaller hailstones.

Ideal conditions for hail formation

Hail forms in strong thunderstorm clouds, particularly those with intense updrafts, high liquid water content, great vertical extent, large water droplets, and where a good portion of the cloud layer is below freezing convert|0|C|F|0. The growth rate is maximized at about convert|-13|C|F|0, and becomes vanishingly small much below convert|-30|C|F|0 as supercooled water droplets become rare. For this reason, hail is most common in mid-latitudes during early summer where surface temperatures are warm enough to promote the instability associated with strong thunderstorms, but the upper atmosphere is still cool enough to support ice. Accordingly, hail is actually less common in the tropics despite a much higher frequency of thunderstorms than in the mid-latitudes because the atmosphere over the tropics tends to be warmer over a much greater depth.Fact|date=April 2007 Also, entrainment of dry air into strong thunderstorms over continents can increase the frequency of hail by promoting evaporational cooling which lowers the freezing level of thunderstorm clouds giving hail a larger volume to grow in. Hail is also much more common along mountain ranges because mountains force horizontal winds upwards (known as orographic lifting), thereby intensifying the updrafts within thunderstorms and making hail more likely. One of the most notorious regions for large hail is the mountainous northern India and Bangladesh, which have reported more hail-related deaths than anywhere else in the world and also some of the largest hailstones ever measured. Mainland China is also notorious for killer hailstorms. In North America, hail is most common in the area where Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming meet, known as "Hail Alley." [ [http://www.ucar.edu/communications/factsheets/Hail.html UCAR fact sheet on hail] ] Cheyenne, Wyoming is North America's most hail-prone city with an average of nine to ten hailstorms per season. [ [http://www.weathernotebook.org/transcripts/2004/08/27.php Hail Alley] ] Hailstones, while most commonly only a few millimetres in diameter, can sometimes grow to convert|15|cm|in|0 and weigh more than convert|.5|kg|lb|1 [Video accompanying entry for "hail" in Britannica Online, Academic Edition] . Pea or golf ball-sized hailstones are not uncommon in severe storms. Hail can do serious damage, notably to automobiles, skylights, glass-roofed structures, and most commonly, farmers' crops. Rarely, massive hailstones have been known to cause concussions or fatal head trauma. Sometimes, hail-producing clouds are identifiable by their green colouration. [ [http://www.abc.net.au/news/australia/qld/toowoomba/200410/s1222665.htm Hail storms rock southern Qld - Toowoomba News] ] [ [http://australiasevereweather.com/storm_news/arc1997.htm Severe Thunderstorm Images of the Month Archives - 1997 - Australian Severe Weather] ]

hort term detection

In the United States, to issue proper warnings and forecasts, National Weather Service uses a network of NEXRAD doppler radars to detect hail. Hail size and probability can be determined from radar data by a computer by different algorithms. This, in combination with an analysis of the radar display is an accurate way of detecting hail. An analysis of the radar data would include viewing reflectivity data at multiple angles above ground level to check for hail development in the upper levels of the storm, and checking the Vertically Integrated Liquid (VIL). VIL and hail do have a relationship, although it varies with atmospheric conditions and therefore is not highly accurate. Radar data can also be complimented by a knowledge of current atmospheric conditions which can allow one to determine if the current atmosphere is conducive to hail development.

Size scale

Hailstone size is reported in some countries as compared to known objects rather than by reporting the actual diameter. Below is a table of commonly used objects for this purpose. [ [http://www.crh.noaa.gov/arx/hail_size_MSP.pdf PDF] from NOAA, Page 5] [ [http://www.crh.noaa.gov/news/display_cmsstory.php?wfo=mkx&storyid=13999&source=0Did you know...penny-size hail triggers a severe tstm warning?] NWS Milwaukee/Sullivan] The UK organisation, TORRO, also scales for both hailstones and hailstorms. [ [http://www.torro.org.uk/torro/severeweather/hailscale.php TORRO: Severe Weather: Hailstorm Intensity Scale] ]

Costly or deadly hailstorms

*Around the 9th century, several hundred pilgrims were killed by a massive hailstorm in Roopkund, Uttarakhand, India. [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/11/07/wind07.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/11/07/ixworld.html Telegraph News] ]
*The practice of "weather-shooting" in Austria in the nineteenth century, as a hail prevention measure, was discredited by Joseph Maria Pernter. [ [http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Joseph_Maria_Pernter "Catholic Encyclopedia" article] ]
* December 1967, A hailstorm hit Los Angeles County, blanketing the region much like a snowstorm. The storm also produced lightning, and one bolt struck an oil tank in Manhattan Beach, causing an explosion that covered much of the South Bay with the oil. The next hailstorm to hit the area was in 1979.Fact|date=February 2008
*July 11 1990, Denver, Colorado, USA, Softball-sized hail destroyed roofs and cars, causing $625 million in total damage ($1 billion in damage adjusted to 2007 dollars [ [http://www.rmiia.org/Catastrophes_and_Statistics/Hail.htm Colorado hail statistics - Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association] ] ).
*September 7, 1991: a Labour Day thunderstorm caused $400 million worth of insurable damage in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Thirteen additional hailstorms between 1981 and 1998 caused an estimated $600 million in damage in the Calgary area alone. [ [http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/sites/english/maps/environment/naturalhazards/majorhailstorms/hailstorms_stats_new.html atlas.nrcan.gc.ca] Dead link|date=May 2008] [ [http://www.springerlink.com/index/Q1032KK8U22Q5XXT.pdf Urban hailstorms: a view from Alberta] ]
*May 5 1995, Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, USA, $1.1 billion insured losses, total storm damage reported at around $2 billion. The storms produced hail about the size of softballs. [ [http://www.srh.noaa.gov/fwd/swaw05all.html#PUBLIC%20INFORMATION%20STATEMENT National Weather Service Forecast Office - WFO, Ft. Worth, Texas ] ] [ [http://www.weather.com/encyclopedia/thunder/ftworth.html weather.com - Storm Encyclopedia ] ] [ [http://blogs.usatoday.com/weather/ask_the_expert/index.html Ask the Expert - The Weather Guys - USATODAY.com ] ]
*April 14 1999, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, $1.5 billion. 20,000 properties and 40,000 vehicles were damaged during the storm with more than 25 aircraft damaged at Sydney Airport, one person was killed while fishing after getting struck by lightning and several other people were injured. It was the costliest hailstorm to hit an Australian populated city. [ [http://www.bom.gov.au/weather/nsw/sevwx/14april1999.shtml The Sydney Hailstorm - 14 April 1999] ] Largest stone measured was 9.5 cm. [ [http://australiansevereweather.com.au/storm_news/990416.htm Sydney Hailstorm 14th April 1999 - Australian Severe Weather] ]
*March 29, 2000, The last known hail fatality in the United States occurs. The victim was Juan Oseguera, a nineteen-year-old man who died from head injuries after being hit by a softball sized hailstone in Lake Worth, Texas. [ [http://edition.cnn.com/2000/WEATHER/03/30/ft.worth.tornado.01/index.html#1 Fort Worth surveys tornado damage, counts the cost - March 30, 2000 - CNN.com] ]
*May 18 2000, McHenry, Lake, northern Kane, and northern Cook County, Illinois, USA, $572 million [ [http://mesh.medill.northwestern.edu/mnschicago/archives/2006/02/stormfix_weathe.html Medill Reports: Chicago] Dead link|date=May 2008] . Golfball-, baseball-, and softball-sized hail damaged roofs, cars, patio furniture, skylights, and windows in the area's worst and most widespread hailstorm in 30 years. Around 100,000 homes lost power. Hail was convert|3|in|mm deep in many areas. There were 100 canceled flights, and train service was disrupted. [ [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4155/is_20000519/ai_n13863575 findarticles.com] Dead link|date=May 2008] [ [http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/stormdata/may2000.pdf Storm Data and Unusual Weather Phenomena - National Weather Service] ]
*April 10 2001, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, $2.0 billion+. The costliest hailstorm in US history struck the I-70 corridor of eastern Kansas, across Missouri, into southwestern Illinois. [ [http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lsx/?n=april_10_2001 NOAA's National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office - St Louis, MO] ]
*July 19 2002, Henan Province, the People's Republic of China, 25 dead and hundreds injured.
*The largest hailstone on record fell on June 22 2003 in Aurora, Nebraska, USA. It has a convert|7|in|mm|sing=on diameter and a circumference of convert|18.75|in|mm.

See also

*Sleet
*Graupel
*Snow grains
*Hail cannon

References

Further reading

*cite book | last = Rogers and Yau | title = A Short Course in CLOUD PHYSICS | location = Massachusetts | publisher = Butterworth-Heinemann | year = 1989 | id = ISBN 0-7506-3215-1
*cite book | last = Jim Mezzanotte | title = Hailstorms | publisher = Gareth Stevens Publishing | year = 2007 | id = ISBN 978-0836879124
*cite book | last = Snowden Dwight Flora | title = Hailstorms of the United States | publisher = Textbook Publishers | year = 2003 | id = ISBN 978-0758116987
*cite book | last = Narayan R. Gokhale | title = Hailstorms and Hailstone Growth | publisher = State University of New York Press | year = 1974 | id = ISBN 978-0873953139
*cite book | last = Duncan Scheff | title = Ice and Hailstorms | publisher = Raintree Publishers | year = 2001 | id = ISBN 978-0739847039

External links

* [http://www.hailre.org Hail Research Information Center]
* [http://www.chaseday.com/hail.htm Images of hail and hailstorms]
* [http://www.metsul.com/secoes/visualiza.php?cod_subsecao=28&cod_texto=956 Images of a major giant hail event in Brazil]
* [http://www.ucar.edu/communications/factsheets/Hail.html Hail factsheet]
* [http://cbs13.com/topstories/local_story_053012555.html Using sound to break up hail]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZr8jXo1Uso&NR Youtube Video of large hailstorm in progress]
* [http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/esb/?goal=weather&file=events/hail/ Social & Economic Costs of Hail] from "NOAA Socioeconomics" website initiative


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  • hail — hail1 [hāl] vt. [ME hailen, to salute, greet < hail, heil < ON heill, whole, sound, akin to OE hal (see HALE1, WHOLE): used as a salutation] 1. to welcome, greet, etc. with or as with cheers; acclaim 2. to name by way of tribute; salute as… …   English World dictionary

  • hail — Ⅰ. hail [1] ► NOUN 1) pellets of frozen rain falling in showers from cumulonimbus clouds. 2) a large number of things hurled forcefully through the air. ► VERB (it hails, it is hailing, etc.) ▪ hail falls …   English terms dictionary

  • Hail — Hail, interj. [See {Hail}, v. t.] An exclamation of respectful or reverent salutation, or, occasionally, of familiar greeting. Hail, brave friend. Shak. [1913 Webster] {All hail}. See in the Vocabulary. {Hail Mary}, a form of prayer made use of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hail — حائل …   Wikipedia Español

  • Hail — (h[=a]l), n. [OE. hail, ha[yogh]el, AS. h[ae]gel, hagol; akin to D., G., Dan., & Sw. hagel; Icel. hagl; cf. Gr. ka chlhx pebble.] Small roundish masses of ice precipitated from the clouds, where they are formed by the congelation of vapor. The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hail — [n] torrent barrage, bombardment, broadside, cannonade, hailstorm, pelting, rain, salvo, shower, storm, volley; concepts 189,524 hail [v1] call to, yell for accost, address, flag, flag down*, greet, hello, holler*, salute, shoulder, shout, signal …   New thesaurus

  • Hail — Hail, n. A wish of health; a salutation; a loud call. Their puissant hail. M. Arnold. [1913 Webster] The angel hail bestowed. Milton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • HAIL! — Жанры хэви метал трэш метал NWOBHM Годы c 2008 Страна …   Википедия

  • Hail — Hail, v. t. To pour forcibly down, as hail. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hail — Hail, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Hailed} (h[=a]ld); p. pr. & vb. n. {Hailing}.] [OE. hailen, AS. hagalian.] To pour down particles of ice, or frozen vapors. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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