Hail comes in existence when updrafts in thunderclouds take the raindrops up towards the extremely cold areas in the atmosphere. They freeze and combine forming the lumps of ice. As the lumps be very heavy and are not supported by the updraft, they fall off with the speeds of about 100 km per hour or more. Hail is created an enormous cloud, also called as thunderheads.
Hail is very dangerous as it can cause panoptical damage in just a few minutes. Hail may or may not predate a tornado. Large hail can appear nearby the area in the thunderstorm. The tornadoes are quite likely to build in such area. The large hail begins to fall off and then one can assume that the tornado may also be nearby. After the hail stops, one should live in the safe area until the storm passes off. It is generally 15 to 30 minutes after the hail breaks off.
Facts about Hail
The season of hail in Colorado is March to October. Majority falls in May month to August. June month has high statewide regularity and Fort Collins has hail most ofttimes in May. The largest size of hail falls in July and August months. Hail primarily happens in afternoon or evening in Colorado. Most of the harsh hailstorms take place between 1:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
The median duration is about 6 minutes and on rare occasions, hailstorms last for more than 15 minutes. Large hail is larger than ¾ inches in diameter. Deep Hail is hail that has amassed a foot deep or more and is flowing. The common size for hail is 1 to 1 ½ inches in diameter. In Colorado, the most common size for hail is 1/4″. The greatest recognized hailstone of 5 ½ inches in diameter fell in Kansas and weighed about 2 pounds.
What to do in hailstorms to avoid personal injury or property damage
- When in a car, stand back from the car windows. Cover your eyes. Get on the floor with your face down. Lay down on your seat with back towards the windows. Cover your small children under you and cover their eyes.
- When in the home or any building, stay inside. Don’t go inside the basement or the windows. They can especially be struck due to hail. Take care of all your family members, fellow occupants, pets, etc. you must not go outside for any reason.
- Move all the weak items such as equipment, cars, and machinery in shelter as hail threatens. Take care that such action does not create any risk for you.
- If you are caught outdoor, keep all the chances of injury to yourself only. You may crouch down and protect your head and neck completely.
- Protect your pets and the livestock.
- Do not use telephones and electrical appliances at the time of dangerous storm to avoid the danger of burning due to lightning.
- Keep off from the areas struck with deep hail.
- Stay away from culverts and plain areas to keep away from being swept away by deep hail.