During spring and summer, hailstorms are an issue in many areas of the United States. Thousands of hailstorms happen each year across the country, and the effects of a hailstorm can be extremely costly. Our weather experts at CompuWeather can help you with your cases, claims, and hailstorm investigations.
What is Hail?
When precipitation is carried upward in a thunderstorm to much colder areas of the atmosphere, it turns into solid ice known as hailstones. Hailstones grow bigger when they come in contact with supercooled water droplets – droplets that are found in below freezing temperatures, which freeze on the hailstone, creating additional layers of ice. When the hailstones become too heavy to be carried by the storm’s updraft, they fall to the ground. Able to reach up to 4 inches in diameter and fall at high speeds, hailstones can be extremely dangerous.
Which Areas of the U.S. Receive the Most Hail?
As previously mentioned, hail forms when conditions are cold enough to turn liquid precipitation into ice. Although Florida receives frequent thunderstorms, and will occasionally see hail, hailstorms are not as common there as they are in other areas of the country due to Florida’s freezing level. In fact, hail will often melt in the atmosphere before reaching the ground in Florida. On the other hand, the Central Plains is known to receive more hailstorms. The region where Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming meet have been dubbed “Hail Alley,” as it receives the most hail in the country. These areas are at higher elevations with much lower freezing levels.
How Hail Can Play a Role in Your Next Case or Claim
If hailstones become large enough, they can cause significant damage to personal property, and even people as well as livestock. The aftermath of a hailstorm causes thousands of homeowners, farmers, and others to file claims to cover their losses each year.
While personal injury as a result of hail is not a common occurrence, it is still a possibility if hail becomes large enough. One of the largest hailstones ever recorded in the U.S. was 8 inches in diameter – close to the diameter of a volleyball. Hailstones of this magnitude would cause significant injuries to a person. In addition, driving during a hailstorm can result in a motor vehicle accident, or cause damage to a vehicle by denting it, breaking windows, or chipping its paint.
Moreover, hail often causes damage to residential and commercial properties. Large enough hailstones can dent roofs, siding, and gutters; crack siding, windows, and shingles; or break windows. Insurance professionals and attorneys look to CompuWeather to determine the weather conditions at the location of loss.
Damage to Crops and Livestock
Lastly, hail damage plays a significant role for those in an agricultural setting. Hailstones wound plants, and subject them to the possibility of infection. Or, if large enough, hail can damage crops to a point of total loss. In addition, severe thunderstorms and hail can injure livestock. The implications of hail damage can cause significant economic and structural damage for those in the agricultural sector.
CompuWeather Hail Products Can Help
At CompuWeather, we have hail products to assist you with your legal case, claim, or investigation. Our HailTrail report is a site-specific hail analysis for an exact location over a 24-hour period. This report illustrates the size of hail and its path, as well as the time that the storm impacted the location in question. We can also include peak wind direction and speed for the date. If you need to determine if hail impacted a location over a longer period of time, our HailTrail Search Plus can help. This report is a site-specific search over a long period of time for radar-detected hail – from 1 day to over 10 years, and estimates the size of hail at the location, as well as within 1, 3, and 10 miles of the location. The HailTrail Search Plus report also includes a detailed listing of all observed hail reports within 25 miles of the location in question.
If you’re not sure which hail product is best for your case, claim, or investigation, speak with a CompuWeather team member to assist you.