Phillip’s Weather Trivia: Severe hail size
What size of hail is considered severe hail
GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The National Weather Service issues severe thunderstorm warnings for storms which may contain a certain size of hail and/or winds over 50 knots (57 mph). To some, any hail is severe hail, but according to the criteria used for a severe thunderstorm warning, what size of hail do you think is considered severe?
Hail is formed by raindrop being carried up higher in the storm where the temperatures is below freezing. The piece of ice then falls back down in the storm, runs into raindrops and then gets carried back up above the freezing line. It can make this round trip multiple times depending on how strong the updraft is to force the ice back up in the storm. At some point, it will be heavy enough to fall out of the storm as hail. Below is the answer:
Yes, hail the size of a quarter is considered large enough to warrant a severe thunderstorm warning. If you guessed Penny size, take heart in knowing that used to be the criteria used by the National Weather Service. They changed it to 1 inch diameter a few years ago. Hail has been as large as softballs, but luckily, that is extremely rare. I’ve seen tennis ball size hail in Greenville before. That was enough to dent cars and crack windshields. - Phillip Williams
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