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A pellet of hail. Switch to new thesaurus. There was some hail during the rainstorm last night. It was hailing as I drove home.

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Hailstones battered against the window. Mentioned in? References in classic literature?

Neither is this at all to be wondered at, because nature, in that country, observing the same proportion through all her operations, a hailstone is near eighteen hundred times as large as one in Europe; which I can assert upon experience, having been so curious as to weigh and measure them. View in context. A shower of rain drove down upon us, each drop stinging like a hailstone. The weather had become worse than ever towards evening; the hail lashed the drenched mare so cruelly that she went along sideways, shaking her head and ears; but Levin was all right under his hood, and he looked cheerfully about him at the muddy streams running under the wheels, at the drops hanging on every bare twig, at the whiteness of the patch of unmelted hailstones on the planks of the bridge, at the thick layer of still juicy, fleshy leaves that lay heaped up about the stripped elm-tree.

Record Setting Hail Event in Vivian, South Dakota on July 23,

Russ Schumacher. Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons licence.


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As ominous skies moved overhead just after noon on Aug. Moments later, a barrage of ice baseballs began falling from the sky, with one or two softball-sized hailstones in the mix. People and animals scrambled for cover. These large hail events seem to be more and more common, which has prompted atmospheric scientists like me to investigate trends in hail storms, as well as other severe weather phenomena.

Hail is precipitation that falls in the form of ice. In basic terms, hailstones form as water is lofted into the upper cold regions of a thunderstorm, where it freezes.

Sydney's storms saw cauliflower-shaped hailstones batter the city. Here's how they formed

Supercooled liquid water at these heights can continue to add mass to a small hailstone — eventually it becomes too heavy and falls out of the cloud. The largest hailstones are found in strong thunderstorms, called supercells , which have sufficiently strong updrafts to allow hailstones to reach the ice region of the cloud, thus acquiring more mass before falling out. Supercells, and thus large hail, are aided by warm and moist conditions that promote strong, juicy updrafts and also a wind field that strengthens and turns with height.


  1. Translations of “hailstone”.
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  5. For anyone living in the Great Plains, this year has been a hail season to remember, with many more large hailstones being reported than usual. But in , the percentage of hail greater than 2 inches in diameter certainly was. Here in Colorado, over 20 percent of severe hail reports through the beginning of September have been at least 2 inches.

    A new normal?

    Three percent have been at least 3 inches — bigger than a standard 2. These are the highest such percentages in state history. Moreover, Colorado saw a new record, with hail greater than 3 inches in diameter reported 10 times, over seven different days.

    Examples of “hailstone”

    And these trends hold nationally, too, according to preliminary SPC reports. Across the country, percentages of large hailstones are among the highest seen since the turn of this century. Geographically, very large hail reports for stretch from Idaho to Florida to Connecticut, with a maximum in the western Great Plains. Having an increasingly higher proportion of large hail is not an encouraging trend for home or automobile owners.

    They come from a variety of sources including trained spotters, meteorologists, law enforcement and the general public. As such, the database has some inherent reporting biases.