What is a Hailstorm?

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What is a Hailstorm? Blog Image


The sudden change in the weather conditions in Madhya Pradesh hit the state's farmers as their crops were damaged due to the heavy rain and hailstorm.

About Hailstorm:

  • Hail is a type of solid rain made up of balls or lumps of ice.
  • Storms that produce hail which reaches the ground are known as hailstorms. 
  • Conditions for Hailstorms to occur?
    • Highly developed Cumulonimbus clouds need to be present. These are the massive anvil or mushroom-shaped clouds that are seen during thunderstorms which can reach heights up to 65,000 feet.
    • There must be strong currents of air ascending through these clouds. These currents are commonly known as updrafts.
    • The clouds will need to contain high concentrations of supercooled liquid water.
  • How are Hails formed?
    • It begins as a water droplet that is swept up by an updraft inside of a thundercloud.
    • Other supercooled water droplets which are already present inside the cloud will adhere to the water droplet’s surface, forming layers of ice around it.
    • As the water droplet reaches higher elevations within the cloud, it comes into contact with more and more supercooled particles. 
    • The hail embryo will grow larger and larger as it reaches higher altitudes in the updraft.
    • Finally, it will reach a size and weight where gravity will begin to act on it and pull it down.


Q1) What is a Sleet?

Sleet is defined as pellets of ice that fall as a form of precipitation.Sleet is a type of precipitation distinct from snow, hail, and freezing rain. Sleet occurs when falling snow melts and then refreezes before it hits the ground.

Source: Sudden rain, hailstorm damage crops in Madhya Pradesh; CM orders survey