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Ice storms/Hail. This is a video of a hail storm at its best!!. What Are Ice Storms?.

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Ice storms/Hail

This is a video of a hail storm at its best!!


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What Are Ice Storms?

Ice storms are when the fall of freezing rain persists for a long period of time, and accumulates on roads, trees and anything else that gets in it’s path.Ice storms typically begin with snow. The snow changes briefly to sleet and then to rain that freezes on impact, coating all exposed surfaces with a growing layer of ice.


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How Is An Ice Storm Formed?

Before the warm front of an ice storm, warm, moist air moving in from the warm sector overruns the surface cold air ahead to produce a vertical temperature layering of the pre-warm front atmosphere.

As this air rises over the cold air, it cools and its vapour begins to condense. The clouds rise, the temperature drops below freezing, and most of its condensing vapour forms into ice crystals.


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Formation Of An Ice Storm

Cloud vapor condenses, and releases snow. The snow melts into rain when it meets a warm air front. The rain continues to fall, until it hits the next cold layer. The rain droplets refreeze, or supercool, and form freezing rain and /or ice pellets.


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How Large Are Ice Storms?

Ice storms lasting 12 hours or more generally produce ice accumulations several centimetres thick and affect an area that may range from a few kilometres to areas covering several states/provinces.

The typical ice storm is 50 km wide and 500 km long. Ice storms generally attract major headlines only one in three years.


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Seasons Ice Storms Occur

Residents of the eastern United States and Canada may have freezing rain any time between late October and early May. Storm systems that produce freezing rain usually move across eastern North America from the southwest bringing warm air from the Gulf of Mexico and collides with the cold Arctic air of a high-pressure system to the north.


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Storm of ‘98

People in Montreal struggled for more than 30 days with no electricity and no hot water while the temperature outside dropped to –30 C. Jan. 5, 1998, as freezing rain started to fall. It kept coming down for five days. At least 30 people died. On the darkest day, three million people – roughly half of Quebec's population – were left without electricity. Hundreds were trapped in their homes, waiting to be rescued and thousands fled to shelters. The storm caused an estimated $3 billion in damage.


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Precautions

Keep on Hand:

* Emergency supply of foods that require no preparation.

* Flashlights and a battery-powered radio with new batteries.

* Anti-freeze to protect pipes.

* Simple fire-fighting equipment and tools.

* Candles to provide light.

When the Power Goes Off:

* Turn off all electrical appliances.

* Turn on battery powered radio for information.

* keep doors and windows closed. houses will remain warm for several hours.

* Conserve fuel by warming only one room and keeping temperatures low. Wear heavy clothing.

* Check plumbing to ensure that water pipes are not frozen.


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Impact On Wildlife

Animals outside in the winter must also cope with the effects of an ice storm. Many animals starve when they are unable to reach seeds, buds, or other food locked in the ice. Birds that can’t to find shelter during the storm may have their feet frozen to a branch or their wings covered in ice making them unable to fly.

Plants and animals, both wild and domestic, may be killed or injured by ice build up. Power cables, tree branches and trunks collect ice in large quantities.

Ice damages plants by sealing leaves, stems and buds from the air, suffocating these parts. Also, ice sheets formed over snow surfaces, may suffocate plants such as winter wheat.


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Impact On Transportation

When transportation depended on foot power or animals, moving along dirt roads, ice storms were generally considered more annoying than hazardous, except for those who travelled through wooded areas where falling branches and trees were a danger.

Pavement and the automobile brought new travel hazards to both drivers and pedestrians. On surfaces such as road pavement and sidewalks, glaze ice forms a smooth slippery surface. For drivers, the consequences of ice storms can be serious, because stopping distances on ice are twelve times greater than on dry pavement, and double that on packed snow.


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Insurance

Most insurance company's cover the costs of rebuilding after an ice storm. If you have the basic insurance package; property damaged by branch’s or tree’s covered in ice, freezer contents up to $1000, frozen pipes, and debris removal costs are all covered by insurance. However, damages to trees, shrubs or lawns, or damages to electrical appliances are not covered.


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Tourism

Although ice storms are generally disliked by most of the population, they provide weather watchers with entertainment. Each look reveals new beauty. When the ice clings to tree branches, and the sunshine shines trough, it is an amazing sight!


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Video Clips

This is a video clip of a hail storm, and someone holding a large hail stone.

This is a video clip of someone driving in a fierce hail storm.


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How Is Hail Formed?

~Frozen precipitation in the form of lumps of ice, is created when rain is forced above the freezing level by a thunderstorm's updraft. 

~Hail stones grow larger until they become too heavy to be supported by the updraft and fall to earth.


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Hail Formation

A hailstone the size of a golf ball needs over ten billion super cooled droplets to be accumulated, and it must remain in the storm cloud for 5 to 10 minutes and be held up by updrafts over 88 km/h.

When sliced through their center, hailstones reveal an onion-like layering, especially in the larger stones. These layers alternate between opaque ice and clear ice, depending on how quickly the hail stone freezes. The layers indicate how the ice gathered during different stages of the hailstone's growth.



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Hail Storm Effects

The most costly Canadian hailstorm occurred on September 7 1991 in Calgary, Alberta causing an estimated and $450 million in estimated total damage. Hailstorms are among the most damaging weather events each year in Canada. Costs are estimated at $100 million per year in Canada.

Much of the damage from hail is on crops. Hail is named the white plague by farmers. Damage to vehicles, buildings, particularly roofs and landscaping are also damaged during hail storms.


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Positive points

Ice storms and hail can be beneficial. They can knock down dead branches, releases seeds, and provides nesting and sleeping shelters for birds and animals.


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Bibliography

http://haildata.atozad.net/

http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/13646/86621

http://www.islandnet.com/~see/weather/elements/icestorm.htm

http://www.mthurricane.com/Pool%20Hail.mpg

www.rainhail.com/

http://www.weather.com/encyclopedia/winter/ice.html


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The End!!

By Amie wright

And

Andrew Willsey


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