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Why does it hail ?
Answer 1:

Hail appears only with certain types of storms that involve warm moist air rising rapidly into cold upper air which wants to sink to the ground. The rising air cools and the moisture in the air becomes liquid and then freezes into ice crystals. If the air rises quickly enough,the ice crystals in the air go higher while collecting more and more material, turning into bigger ice balls. At some point, the ice balls get so big that the wind cannot hold it up any more and it falls back to the surface. If the ice ball is big enough, it is still frozen when it reaches the ground and this is what we know as hail. If hailstone size is related to the force of the rising winds, what conditions would you expect to make bigger hailstones?

Here is a website that shows some good accounts of what hail can do. It has some words that are specific to tornado chasing but gives some nice pictures of clouds associated with hailstorms.
http://www.chaseday.com/hail.htm

Although we don't have very good conditions for hail on the coast of California, it is an important type of weather for many people and can often be associated with major thunderstorms, or even tornadoes. What do you think are some of the problems that are associated with hail in terms of people and their property? Have fun studying this interesting topic!


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