Hail FAQs:


Q: Is Hail a form of solid precipitation?

A: Yes.

Q: Is Hail composed of transparent ice or alternating layers of transparent and translucent ice at least 1 millimetre thick?

A: Yes, and which are deposited upon the hailstone as it travels through the cloud, suspended aloft by air with strong upward motion until its weight overcomes the updraft and falls to the ground.

Q: Is Hail also much more common along mountain ranges because mountains force horizontal winds upwards?

A: Yes, and thereby intensifying the updrafts within thunderstorms and making hail more likely.

Q: Is Hail one of Canada's most expensive hazards?

A: Yes.

Q: Is Hail most common within continental interiors of the mid-latitudes, as hail formation is considerably more likely when the freezing level is below the altitude of 11,000 feet?

A: Yes, Movement 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.

Q: Is Hail most common in the area where Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming meet, known as "Hail Alley"?

A: Yes, Hail in this region occurs between the months of March and October during the afternoon and evening hours, with the bulk of the occurrences from May through September.

Q: Is Hail possible within most thunderstorms as it is produced by cumulonimbi?

A: Yes, and within 2 nautical miles of the parent storm.

Q: Is Hail 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 altitude?

A: Yes.

Q: Is Hail most likely within the cloud at elevations above 20,000 feet?

A: Yes, Between 10,000 feet and 20,000 feet , 60 percent of hail is still within the thunderstorm, though 40 percent now lies within the clear air under the anvil.

Q: Is Hail one of the most significant thunderstorm hazards to aircraft?

A: Yes.

Q: Is Hail falling when it strikes the ground?

A: Yes, and varies.

Q: Is Hail across mountainous northern India?

A: Yes, and which reported one of the highest hail-related death tolls on record in 1888.

Q: Is Hail also a common nuisance to drivers of automobiles?

A: Yes, and severely denting the vehicle and cracking or even shattering windshields and windows.