By: Dalton Dubetz
Hail is a type of precipitation (water in the atmosphere) that falls to the ground as solid ice, whereas frozen rain falls as water and only freezes near the ground.
Typically hailstones range from five millimeters to fifteen centimeters in diameter but can be even larger; the largest hailstone recorded in Canada fell on Monday, August 1, 2022 and weighed 292.71 grams (.65lbs) and measured 123 millimeters (12.3cm) in diameter.
So what is hail, and how is it created?
As water droplets get caught in the updraft of a storm, they freeze and form ice pellets.
As these pellets are pulled down by gravity and lifted back up by the updraft, more layers of water freeze to the original pellet creating a hailstone in the clouds.
Once these hailstones become too heavy for the updraft, or the updraft weakens, they fall to the ground as solids and create the hail storms we know in Southern Alberta.
When these hailstones fall to the ground they have the potential to damage crops, vehicles, and homes.