A storm is defined as, “any disturbed state of an astronomical body’s atmosphere, especially affecting its surface, and strongly implying severe weather.” Severe storms are capable of producing heavy winds that transport substances through the air, such as frozen bits of precipitation with fast updrafts, commonly known as hail. Hail producing heavy thunderstorms generally lead to negative impacts to lives and property, capable of destroying anything within it’s path of destruction.
How are hail stones formed?
Hail is a large frozen raindrop produced by intense thunderstorms, where snow and rain can coexist in the central updraft. As the snowflakes fall, liquid water freezes, forming ice balls that will continue to grow as more and more droplets are accumulated. Upon reaching the bottom of the cloud, some of the ice balls are carried by the updraft back up to the top of the storm.
As the ice balls once again fall through the cloud, another layer of ice is added and the hail stone grows even larger. Typically the stronger the updraft, the more times a hail stone repeats this cycle and consequently, the larger it grows. Once the hail stone becomes too heavy to be supported by the updraft, it falls out of the cloud toward the surface. The hail stone reaches the ground as ice since it is not in the warm air below the thunderstorm.
Recent Storms in Saint Louis, MO:
Several waves of severe thunderstorms left a swath of wind and hail damage across not only the St. Louis metro area, but adjacent parts of Downtstate Illinois and eastern Missouri on April 28, 2012. Hail was reported in size from golf ball to tea cup diameter. Homeowners who suspect that they have sustained hail or wind damage should contact a trained roofing contractor who can assess your property and represent your best interests.