Some facts about hail from the National Weather Service

Hail falls during storm Wednesday, April 8, 2015. (WDTN Photo/Tara Hastings)

The National Weather Service was warning of the possibility of hail as big as grapefruits in some areas on Tuesday amid storms in parts of the central and eastern U.S. Some smaller hail — the size of quarters or smaller — had been reported in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ohio and Texas as of Tuesday afternoon. Large hail can cause heavy damage to crops and other property. Here are some hail facts, according to the National Weather Service:

HOW IT FORMS

(Photo via Report It!)
(Photo via Report It!)
Inside thunderstorms are warm updrafts and cold downdrafts. When a water drop is lifted, it can carry to temperatures below 32 degrees, freeze and then fall. As it falls it can thaw as it moves into warmer air, where it can get picked up again by another updraft, returning it to cold air where it refreezes. With each trip above and below freezing, it adds a layer of ice before it ultimately falls to earth as hail.

HAIL SIZES (diameter)

Pea: ¼ inch

Marble: ½ inch

Penny: ¾ inch (hail at least penny size is considered severe)

Nickel: 7/8 inch

Quarter: 1 inch

Pingpong ball: 1½ inch

Golf ball: 1¾ inch

Tennis ball: 2½ inches

Baseball: 2¾ inches

Grapefruit: 4 inches

Softball: 4½ inches

BIGGEST EVER

The largest recorded hailstone in the U.S. was nearly as big as a volleyball and fell on July 23, 2010, in Vivian, South Dakota. It was 8 inches in diameter and weighed almost 2 pounds.

DAMAGE DONE

Hail causes about $1 billion damage to crops and property annually. A hailstorm that hit Kansas City on April 10, 2001, was the costliest ever in the U.S., causing about $2 billion damage.

WDTN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s