Hail & Hail Storm Facts


Hail forms in storm clouds when super cooled water droplets freeze on contact with condensation nuclei, such as dust or dirt. 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 from 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.

Largest hailstone recorded was 20cm x 47.3cm on the 23rd July 2010 at Vivian South Dakota USA.

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Heaviest hailstone recorded fell on the 14th of April 1986 in Bangladesh India weighing 1kg the hailstorm reportedly killed 92 people.

Largest piece of ice to fall from the sky was a 6 meter block it fell in Scotland on the 13th of august 1849.

Most costly natural disaster in Australia to date is the Sydney hail storm on the 14th of April 1999 – $4┬ábillion 296 million

(in adjusted present dollar terms)

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Source: Insurance Council of Australia & Wikipedia