What makes hail?

Chunks of Ice

Hailstones are chunks of ice that form when layers of ice and snow freeze around frozen raindrops in a thunderstorm.

During a summer thunderstorm you may hear chunks of ice, called hail, hit your windows.

Hailstones begin as raindrops in a thundercloud.  As the raindrops fall through the cloud, they are tossed about by strong winds.

The winds pick up the raindrops and carry them higher and higher where the air is joy cold and they freeze.  They get a coating of snow, too.

As the bits of ice fall through the clouds where more raindrops are forming, some of the rain sticks to them.   Again the wind catches them and  flings them back up into the icy airl

Up and down they go, time after time, adding more coats of frozen rain and snow.

Finally, all the layers of ice and snow make the hailstone so heavy that the wind can no longer hold them up and they suddenly fall to earth in a storm of hail.

Hailstones are often as big as peas, but they can sometimes be as big as baseball. – Dick Rogers



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