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How is Hail Formed?

My grandson asked me about how hail appears in storms. I wasn't sure and told him I would find out. I would like the right way to explain of how hail is made.

By Karen K

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July 27, 20120 found this helpful

Well it has been a while since I have thought about it but the basics are this: when it rains and the upper atmosphere is below freezing the rain drops freeze, the more "cloud" they pass thru the more moisture these ice drops pass through more moisture and they freeze additional layers, if they pass thru enough water vapor they can get pretty big. If you have ever noticed, hail is almost always damp. This is from moisture that did not freeze (not because the hail is melting). Sometimes the atmosphere is cold enough that the last layer does freeze as it falls to earth. This hail sits on the ground a bit longer (but you would hardly notice).

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July 30, 20120 found this helpful

In addition to what the previous poster has said, hail is formed in very tall thunderclouds. The raindrops freeze, fall, get a coating of moisture, get swept up by wind currents in the clouds, freeze, fall, get coated, get swept up to the colder levels again, and so on, until they are so heavy that they fall.

You can likely find pictures if you google the question.

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June 11, 20130 found this helpful

Here is a video that pretty much says the same thing as the other posters said. It is amazing how powerful the updrafts in a cloud have to be to send up hail that has become large. Once it has become too large to be pushed upwards in the updraft winds it falls to the ground. It initially freezes in the first updraft when a drop of water goes up into the cooler temperatures up high, freezes, falls down and gets another coating of water, gets pushed up by the updraft, and then refreezes and the whole thing repeats itself until gravite intervenes and plunges the hail down to earth, hopefully away from any nearby people.

http://www.ehow … _hail-form_.html

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