Identifying hail with spring storms
Storms on Monday, March 25, brought small pea size and dime size hail reports to the Tennessee Valley. Spring brings a ripe environment for storms to produce hail, moreover in the Midwest and Great Plains, but the Tennessee Valley can get severe sizes, which is 1" in diameter or greater.
One reason hail occurs more during the spring months, is colder air is still available aloft. Freezing temperatures are needed in order for hail to form. When dirt, dust, and bugs along with freezing temperatures occur in an updraft, hail then can develop. The stronger the updraft, the larger the hailstone. Hail also falls quickly, and this is from the downdraft. In the summer months, the freezing line is much higher up in the atmosphere, thus colder air is less readily available, and the conditions aren't as ripe for hailstones to develop here in the south.
As we get into more spring storms, make sure you're using the following objects as a frame of reference:
- 0.25": pea size
- 0.75": penny
- 1": quarter
- 1.5": walnut, or ping pong ball
- 2.5": tennis ball
- 1.75": baseball
Storms become severe warned when there is the threat of damage to life and property. This means hail is 1" or greater, wind gusts of 60 mph or greater, and or a tornado.
For weather related info, feel free to email Channel 3 Meteorologist Brittany Beggs.