In this lesson, you will learn all about hail. You will learn what hail is and how it is formed. You will also learn about where in the world it hails, and the damage hail can cause.

What is Hail?

Imagine a cold glass of water filled with lots of ice cubes. Now imagine those ice cubes falling from the sky like rain. That is exactly how hail drops from the sky. Just like rain, snow, and sleet, hail is a kind of precipitation. In other words, any kind of water that comes down from the clouds in different forms is called precipitation.

Picture of Hail on the Ground
hail

How Is Hail Formed?

Hail forms during thunderstorms on hot summer days. Hails is formed in huge, puffy, cumulonimbus clouds.

Cumulonimbus Cloud
cloud

Ice crystals form in these clouds and fall to the ground. As they fall, wind picks up the ice crystals and sends them back into the clouds. This causes the crystals to grow in size and fall to earth like ice cubes. Sometimes hail can have layers like onions do. This is a sign of how many times they were sent back into the clouds and formed layer upon layer before falling to the ground.

Where Does it Hail?

It can hail anywhere in the world but there are certain places in the world that sees hailstorms regularly. Countries like China, India, Russia, and Australia see pretty heavy hailstorms. Hailstorms are also found in the United States, particularly in states like Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming. Hailstorms can cause damages worth millions of dollars all over the world.

Hail Damage

It can be a lot of fun to pick up hail after a storm, particularly on a hot, summer day. However, hail can also cause a lot of damage as it comes down to earth. This is because hail can be as small as a pea or big as a baseball. The bigger and heavier they are, the more damage they will cause. The largest hailstone found in the United States in 2010 weighed about 1 pound, 15 ounces. Yes, those big hailstones can cause a lot of damage to the roofs of houses. They can also damage cars, buildings, crops, and anything else left outside. Animals and people can also get hurt if they are not inside and protected during a hailstorm. Hail can also cause the electricity to go out due to damage to the electric lines.

Car Windshield Cracked from Hail
car hail damage

Lesson Summary

In conclusion, hail is a type of precipitation that falls from the clouds. They look and feel like ice cubes and can come in various sizes. Bigger hailstones can cause lots of damage to buildings, cars, animals, and crops.