Celebrationgoddess's Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Icy treat from heaven March 20, 2011

Filed under: Image that — celebrationgoddess @ 5:00 pm

SUNDAY’s Sampler Platter – (imagine that).

We just had a very noisy hail storm this afternoon. It woke me up out of a much needed nap! So got me thinking about hail and I decided to Wiki it. I remember being in Egypt in a shop when it started hailing there. They told me it almost NEVER hails there. And that a local hotel had a sign up in their lobby saying if it hailed that they would give everyone their room that night for free. Guess there were some happy guests that night!

I guess I shouldn’t complain, my car could have been riddled with this kind of hail!

Hail formation requires environments of strong, upward motion of air with the parent thunderstorm (similar to tornadoes) and lowered heights of the freezing level. Hail is most frequently formed in the interior of continents within the mid-latitudes of Earth, with hail generally confined to higher elevations within the tropics.

Unlike ice pellets, hail stones are layered and can be irregular and clumped together. Hail is composed of transparent ice or alternating layers of transparent and translucent ice at least 1 millimetre (0.039 in) thick, which are deposited upon the hail stone as it cycles through the cloud multiple times, suspended aloft by air with strong upward motion until its weight overcomes the updraft and falls to the ground. There are methods available to detect hail-producing thunderstorms using weather satellites and radar imagery. Hail stones generally fall at higher speeds as they grow in size, though complicating factors such as melting, friction with air, wind, and interaction with rain and other hail stones can slow their descent through Earth’s atmosphere. Severe weather warnings are issued for hail when the stones reach a damaging size, as it can cause serious damage to man-made structures and, most commonly, farmers’ crops. In the United States, the NWS issues severe thunderstorm warnings for hail 1″ or greater in diameter. This threshold, effective January 2010, marked an increase over the previous threshold of ¾” hail. The Service made the change for two main reasons: a) public complacency and b) recent research suggesting that damage does not occur until a hailstone reaches 1″ in diameter.

Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds!