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Weather Talk: Baseball-size hail?

Thunderstorms often develop updrafts strong enough to overcome the force of gravity long enough to send raindrops up into the colder tops of the clouds where they freeze. Eventually the hail stones become heavy enough that gravity overcomes the f...

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Hail is shown outside a Moorhead residence May 19, 2007. Forum News Service file photo.

Thunderstorms often develop updrafts strong enough to overcome the force of gravity long enough to send raindrops up into the colder tops of the clouds where they freeze. Eventually the hail stones become heavy enough that gravity overcomes the force of the updraft and they fall to the ground. Small hail is a relatively common occurrence during summer. However, very large hail is very rare. But almost every summer, we get a report of hailstones the size of baseballs or even softballs falling somewhere in the Dakotas or Minnesota. Hail this big requires an updraft of around 100 mph or higher. Such an updraft is difficult to maintain and so these super large hail stones are rare in any one location. Fortunately, only a very few of us will see one in our lifetimes.    

 

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