Hail


Hail is a common companion of thunderstorms in North Central Texas. Hail is made of raindrops that are caught in thunderstorm updrafts and lifted high into the atmosphere where temperatures are so sold that they freeze. These frozen raindrops fall, picking up more moisture, and are again lifted to freeze over and over until the ice is too heavy to be lifted. The ice, now called hailstones, falls to earth, some at over 100 miles per hour.

Most hail damage is to personal property and vegetation. Building roofs, cars, boats, patio furniture, trees, shrubs, and lawns can be severely damaged. People can also be injured. At a Fort Worth outdoor event in the spring of 1995, an isolated severe thunderstorm accompanied by softball sized hailstones injured over 100 people, and caused billions of dollars in damage.

Hail can also kill. The last known U.S. hail fatality happened in Fort Worth in March of 2000.

The largest hailstone ever documented weighed over 1.6 pounds and spanned 5.67 inches.

Remember, hail stones are made out of ice. Road surfaces may become slick, so use caution if you are driving.

If you encounter a hailstorm while in your car, find a safe place to pull over. Point your vehicle in the direction of the storm so your windshield is being hit by the hail, The windshield's safety glass will protect you better than the other glass in the vehicle.