UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
Why does it hail ?
Question Date: 2002-11-16
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?

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!

Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use