How Big Hail Forms and Why It's so Serious For Your Roof!

We are in the middle of storm season, and some of that severe weather can potentially be a serious threat to your roof.  One of the biggest threats is hail.  Hailstones form in thunderstorms and in Missouri, hail stones can form as large as baseballs.  If your roof gets struck by hail, there is a high probability that there is going to be some damage.  If a hail storm hits your roof, give us a call immediately for a FREE roof inspection.  Don't wait for a leak to start...the best roofing company at the Lake of the Ozarks can take a look and let you know if hail did anything to hurt your home and roof!

How Big Hail Forms

Hail is a type of frozen precipitation that forms within strong to severe thunderstorms.  In thunderstorms, very fast currents of air move up and down.  Air moving upwards is called an updraft, and air moving down is a downdraft.  As air goes higher into the atmosphere, the temperature drops. If the air goes to an altitude where the temperature is below freezing, moisture can form around dust or other particles in the air.  

If this super-cooled ice particle then drops below the freezing line, it can collide with other rain drops or ice particles and can start to clump into icy, spiky chunks.  If this hailstone continues to hit updrafts, it can quickly grow into something big.  Eventually, the stone will encounter a downdraft that sends it to the ground, or it can grow so big that gravity takes over and it also falls to earth.

According to the National Weather Service, in order for a thunderstorm to produce dime-sized hail, its updraft speed would need to be at least 37 mph. For golf ball-sized hail, updraft speeds would need to be around 56 mph. Baseball-sized hail requires strong winds that are blowing upwards at 100 mph.

Image of the world's largest hailstone that fell on July 23, 2010 in Vivian, South Dakota. (Photo: NWS)  (NWS Aberdeen, South Dakota)

Also according to Weather Underground historian Chris Burt, the world's largest hailstone by diameter and weight was observed in the U.S. on July 23, 2010 near Vivian, South Dakota. The hailstone measured 8.0” in diameter, 18 ½” in circumference, and it weighed 1.9375 pounds. The largest hailstone by circumference occurred on June 22, 2003 in Aurora, Nebraska; the hailstone measured in at 7.0 inches in diameter and 18.75 inches in circumference.

Hail and Your Roof

Anytime that hail hits your roof, you should consider calling Above & Beyond Roofing.  In particular, if you see larger hail, you most likely have damage and you should have the roof looked at. Basically, hailstones one inch in diameter begin causing damage to some of the older, thinner roof products. Therefore, from a roof damage perspective, anytime you hear of a strong or severe thunderstorm warning being issued for your area, you should be on the lookout for hail or strong wind roof damage.

Storm damage isn't always immediately obvious, and a few days or weeks down the road you could discover a leak that, unknowingly, you let grow into extensive roof damage. If your home has recently been subject to a storm and maybe hasn't been inspected in awhile, give Above & Beyond Roofing a call. We offer free roof inspections at the Lake of the Ozarks!

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Osage Beach, MO 65065
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