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Hail. Hail is a large frozen raindrop produced by intense thunderstorms, where snow and rain can coexist in the central updraft.

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Presentation Transcript
Hail is a large frozen raindrop produced by intense thunderstorms, where snow and rain can coexist in the central updraft.
Hail forms when strong currents of rising air, known as updrafts, carry water droplets above the freezing level in thunderstorms and the water freezes into ice. Hail often melts before it reaches the ground, but in some cases ice chunks the size of softballs pound the countryside.
There is no positive way to look at a thunderstorm in the distance and tell if it will produce hail reaching the ground.
  • Meteorologists use weather radar to "look" inside a thunderstorm. Since hail reflects more energy back to the radar than raindrops it often shows up in red shades.
  • The WSR-88D Doppler Radar can also estimate size of the hail based on the amount of energy reflected back.

Visualize a baseball dropped from a 747 flying at 30,000 feet; it's speed reaches 120 MPH, visualize you going 70 MPH under this big ugly cloud......bam!

freezing rain
Freezing Rain
  • Ice storms result from the accumulation of freezing rain, which is rain that becomes supercooled and freezes upon impact with cold surfaces. Freezing rain is most commonly found in a narrow band on the cold side of a warm front, where surface temperatures are at or just below freezing.
The diagram below shows a typical temperature profile for freezing rain with the red line indicating the atmosphere's temperature at any given altitude. The vertical line in the center of the diagram is the freezing line. Temperatures to the left of this line are below freezing, while temperatures to the right are above freezing.
Freezing rain develops as falling snow encounters a layer of warm air deep enough for the snow to completely melt and become rain.
  • As the rain continues to fall, it passes through a thin layer of cold air just above the surface and cools to a temperature below freezing.
  • When the drops drops strike the frozen ground (power lines, or tree branches), they instantly freeze, forming a thin film of ice, hence freezing rain.
An intense ice storm can paralyze a region in a matter of hours, greatly affecting the people who live there.
Freezing rain is dangerous because it is almost invisible on smooth surfaces and consequently, people are often unaware of its presence. Sidewalks become extremely

slick when covered

with freezing rain,

increasing the

likelihood of someone

slipping and injuring


Automobile accidents

are more likely to occur

during an ice storm

because of the icy roads.

Freezing rain generally does not fall west of the Rockies because one of the key ingredients is missing; shallow artic air, which is unable to flow over the mountains.