Things You Didn't Know About Hail


Hail can be FATAL

About 24 people are injured by hail in the U.S each year, and although rare, hail can kill as well. The most recent hail caused fatality was in Fort Worth, TX, in March of 2000. A pizza deliveryman was hit, and killed, by a large hailstone. Death caused by hail are so uncommon that there have only been a couple other reports in the U.S. in the past 100 years; one in Colorado in 1979, and another Texas in 1930.
The U.S. is not the only country being hit with deadly hail. In 1986, a storm producing hailstones of up to 2lbs led to the deaths of 92 people in Bangladesh. Also, in 1936 more than 200 people were killed in China during a fierce hail storm.
There are recorded fatalities caused directly by hail that go back for centuries. Experts from National Geographic examined around 200 skeletons dating back to 850A.D., that were found at the bottom of a lake in India. The team found that the cause of death seemed to be damage caused by brutal blows to the skulls, and the weapon would have been dull, round objects, near the size of baseballs. After further examination, the team determined a freak hail storm brought the tribesmen to their catastrophic death.

HAIL PRODUCING STORMS ARE MORE THREATENING THAN TORNADOES

During the spring, the typical weather concern is the possibility of tornadoes. While this is a valid stressor, the average number of tornado reports in the U.S. is 1,000, compared to the 5,000+ reports of large hail that occurs each year.

HAILSTONES HAVE RINGS MUCH LIKE A TREE

While hail forms and grows, before falling to the ground, layers of water are added and frozen to the initial ball of ice. This process forms rings, which indicate how long that specific hailstone was suspended in the storm.

Tree Rings

(which indicate the age of the tree)

Hailstone Rings

(which indicate time suspended in storm)

AUTO HAIL DAMAGE IS A BIG THREAT

From shattered windows, to large hail dents in the body, auto hail damage is the biggest issue, especially to those who find themselves stuck in a hailstorm. With balls of ice plummeting to the Earth at speeds of 80+mph, plus the speed at which the vehicle is moving; the impact of a hailstone to a moving vehicle increases tremendously.
*Note: If your local weather forecast says there is a chance of hail, avoid travel if possible. If you’re already driving and get caught in a hailstorm, do not park under a bridge or overpass (this is a safety hazard and can cause a severe accident). Find the nearest exit, and park at a safe facility. After the storm passes, if you have received damage on your vehicle, contact your insurance company and take your vehicle to a body shop that provides quality auto hail damage repair services for further assistance.

Hailstorm damage in Denton, TX

Denton, Texas suffered from a severe hail storm, which left many with hail dents on their vehicle.

Hailstorm damage in Colorado

This photo depicts how brutal auto hail damage can be. This was taken in Colorado during a severe hailstorm.

THE LARGEST RECORDED HAILSTONE IN THE U.S.

On July 23, 2010, a hailstone was found near Vivian, South Dakota that measured 8 inches in diameter, 18.5 inches in circumference, and weighed in at 1.94 pounds. The man that found the stone was originally going to use it to make daiquiris, but decided to turn it over to the National Weather Service for certification instead.

OLD SCHOOL HAIL PREVENTION

In Europe around 476A.D., people tried to prevent hail and the damage it brought, by shooting cannons and ringing church bells. These people were unsuccessful in their attempts.

THE COST OF HAIL DAMAGE

Hail typically causes billions of dollars in damages each year. In 2012, insurers considered thunderstorms occurring between March and July to be the second most costly natural catastrophes. Hurricane Sandy caused approximately $25billion in damages, and losses from thunderstorms (which includes hail and wind damages) caused roughly $23.5billion in damages. This year alone (2017), Texas received over $2.1billion in hail damage claims. Colorado and its surrounding states, received $2.2billion in hail damage claims. The upper Midwest is the front runner of 2017 hail damage claims, with a whopping $2.5billion and counting.

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