Due to the Weather: Ways the Elements Affect Our Lives

By Abraham Resnick | Go to book overview

7
HAIL

Hail is solid precipitation that falls as lumps or balls of ice. The individual units that fall to the ground must be at least five millimeters (0.2 inches) in its longest dimension to qualify as hail. The dynamics of hail formation starts with strong vertical air currents moving rapidly upward in warm weather. The overheated air carries large raindrops into cold air aloft that freezes them into ice crystals. As the hailstones become heavy they drop only to again be lifted by high-speed updrafts, estimated to be close to 35 miles per hour. During the process of being carried up and down many times between the cold and warm layers of air, concentric rings of ice and snow build over one another. The coated rings of ice and snow in a hailstone resemble a dissected onion. Once the hailstone becomes extra large and overly heavy it is unable to stay up in the air, and it then falls to the ground. The speed of a falling jumbo- sized hailstone is estimated to be forty-five meters per second, or 105 miles per hour.


HAILSTONE SIZE

Sometimes sport fishermen tell tall tales about the size of a fish they once caught. To some degree "hail sighters" also tend to exaggerate about the size or weight of a hailstone they once came across. Allegedly the largest single stone ever measured in the United States fell at Potter, Nebraska, on July 6, 1928. It weighed 1 1/2 pounds and was seventeen inches in circumference and almost 5 1/2 inches in diameter. On September 1970, in Coffeeville, Kansas, a hailstone having equally formidable measurements motivated its excited townspeople to enter a local hailstone finding competition. But, the prize-winning stone supposedly also measured five inches in diameter.

-45-

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Due to the Weather: Ways the Elements Affect Our Lives
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Part I - Different Kinds of Weather Elements 1
  • 1 - Avalanches 3
  • 2 - Clouds 11
  • 3 - Droughts 17
  • 4 - Dust Storms 25
  • 5 - Floods 31
  • 6 - Fog 39
  • 7 - Hail 45
  • 8 - Humidity 51
  • 9 - Hurricanes/Typhoons 57
  • 10 - Ice 65
  • 11 - Lightning/Thunder 73
  • 12 - Monsoons 79
  • 13 - Mudslides 85
  • 14 - Rainfall 93
  • 15 - Snow 99
  • 16 - Sunshine 107
  • 17 - Temperatures (Cold) 113
  • 18 - Temperatures (Hot) 119
  • 19 - Tornadoes 125
  • 20 - Winds 133
  • Part II - How Weather Affects Us 141
  • 21 - Business 143
  • 22 - Clothing 149
  • 23 - Crime 153
  • 24 - Costums 159
  • 25 - Health 165
  • 26 - History 173
  • 27 - Migration 181
  • 28 - Shelter 187
  • 29 - Sports and Recreation 193
  • 30 - Transportation 203
  • Appendix - Directory of Web Site Contacts 211
  • Index 217
  • About the Author 221
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