WeatherWise Kids: What is hail?

Weather Wise Kids Question

Class Question… We Are Mrs. Giddens Second Grade Class At Jacob G. Smith Elementary School… Our Weather Question Is… What Is Hail?


That’s a great question class! Hail is precipitation in the form of large balls or lumps of ice that fall from thunderstorms.

Hail forms when strong currents of air… known as updrafts and downdrafts… carry a mixture of water droplets and ice up and down in a thunderstorm.

The stronger the storm… the bigger the hail can get. Once the hailstones get big enough… they fall to the ground.  They can hurtle toward the ground as fast as 90mph.

Small hail often melts before reaching the surface… but the larger stones reach the ground and can sometimes cause extensive damage to crops and vehicles caught in the storm.

Most hailstones are small…  About the size of a dime.  The largest recorded hailstone in the united states fell in Vivian, South Dakota in 2010. It was 8 inches in diameter and weighed close to 2 pound.

In the US… hailstorms are most common on the plains… especially just east of the Rockies. Hail can hurt you.  On average… about 25 people are injured every year.

Also… hailstorms usually happen in the spring and summer.

Thanks for the great question kids!

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