« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Daryl Ritchison, WDAY, Published August 30 2013

Weather Talk: Some strange-looking hail fell in the area Monday

If you were to cut open a hailstone, you would likely see concentric rings, similar to what you would find inside an onion. White layers of ice build up as the hailstone grows through the accumulation of super-cooled water droplets in a thunderstorm.

Most often, this accumulation is uniform, meaning the hailstones are spherical in shape. The exception to this is when hailstones combine together to form larger, often very lumpy, balls of ice that are generally referenced as aggregate hailstones.

There is one much more uncommon type of hailstone that fell in the area Monday. The hail had irregular shapes, with many of the stones having spikes protruding from a center point. These types of stones tend to form in areas with high levels of super-cooled water vapor, often near warm fronts. This allows for rapid buildup of soft ice around the growing hailstone that often breaks off into pieces upon descent, leaving behind some strange- looking hail once it reaches the ground.


Have a weather question you’d like answered? Email weather@wday.com,

or write to WDAY Stormtracker, WDAY-TV, Box 2466, Fargo, ND 58108

Read the blog at http://stormtrack.areavoices.com/.