Radar Observes the Weather

By Louis J. Battan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
RADAR DETECTS A HAILSTONE

When it was discovered that radar could locate rainstorms, meteorologists quickly moved the device into the arsenal of weather observing equipment, and scientists began to look for other applications. Early in the game attempts were made to devise techniques for observing a form of precipitation which causes damage in the millions of dollars every year --hail.

Almost everyone, at one time or another, has seen hailstones. They are large particles of ice which fall out of some thunderstorms. In many parts of the world they appear only rarely, but in some areas they occur with discouraging regularity. Among the unlucky places are the western Great Plains of the United States and Canada, northern Italy, southern Germany, and the Caucasus region in the southern part of the Soviet Union. In these areas hailstorms not only occur frequently, but also with a violence that beats crops into the ground, strips fruit off trees, and causes widespread damage to buildings.

Hailstones exceeding three inches in diameter have

-45-

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