Severe Weather Awareness Week: Hail

6 Storm Team Weather School

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A thunderstorm is considered severe if it can produce winds of 58 mph or more, tornadoes, frequent lightning, and even large hail – larger than a quarter!

Raindrops freeze inside thunderstorms and that’s basically what helps create thunderstorms that produce hail. The larger the thunderstorm the larger the hail it’s going to produce.

There are updrafts and downdrafts — updrafts carry moisture up into the cloud and you can see it from layers of ice. Consider your basic hair dryer – the updrafts are the winds inside the hair dryer and the ping pong ball represents different sizes of hail.

This is an idea of how to measure hail. When hail reaches the size of a quarter, or about 1″ diameter, it is considered severe. You can see up to softball size hail in large thunderstorms but thankfully we don’t get too many of those here in East Tennessee. We have seen baseball to softball size hail. The largest hail stone on record? The size of a volleyball.

Whenever you hear thunder, whether its far off in the distance or close, that means there is lightning with the storm that created the thunder. Bottom line is: Be safe, go indoors.

When thunder roars, go indoors.

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