What Is Hail?

Hail is a form of frozen precipitation that usually occurs during thunderstorms. Hail can range from small ice pellets the size of a dime to dangerous ice clumps the size of a baseball.

How Does Hail Form?

During a thunderstorm, warm lofty air rises while cold, dense air falls. The circulation of the air can cause dangerous storms and even tornadoes. As the air circulates upward, it can cause precipitation to get pushed into the atmosphere’s colder layers before falling, causing the rain to freeze and turn into hail.

If you’ve ever seen a cumulonimbus cloud, you’ve probably noticed how high the cloud seemed to reach into the sky. These clouds are also known as thunderstorm clouds and can produce hail. These clouds rise high into the atmosphere due to the updraft of warm air. Hail will come from the higher levels of the cloud where temperatures are colder.