Hail Facts for Kids – 5 Interesting Facts about Hail

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Updated on: Educator Review By: Michelle Connolly

The biggest hailstone recorded was found in the United States of America, but how big was it?! Let’s learn five interesting hail facts for kids.

Hail Facts for Kids Fact Number 1: Hail Falls in Summers

Even though hail is made from ice it is more likely to fall in summer. This is because of how hail is formed. Hail is created when warm air brings water upwards in the air, the water rises high into the atmosphere. Once the water is up there it gets very cold and freezes creating little drops of ice which then get bigger and bigger until they are heavy enough to fall as hail.

In the early summer the air is warmer and so the updrafts caused by warm air is stronger and the upper atmosphere is still cold enough to freeze water into hail. So, early summer is the best time for hail.

Hail Facts for Kids
Hail Facts for Kids: Hail balls after heavy rain lying on ice

Hail Facts for Kids Fact Number 2: The Biggest Hailstone

Hail is usually only measures between 5mm which is the size of the eraser on top of a pencil and 15cm which is the size of a small ruler. They can get much bigger though and in America bigger hail is very common.

The biggest hailstone recorded was measured in 2010 and fell in a storm over South Dakota in America. It measured over 20cm long, that means that when you measure it across it was the same width as a dinner fork. That’s a huge hailstone.

Hail Facts for Kids Fact Number 3: Hailstones

Hail actually tumbles around in the clouds before falling. This is because the air inside the cloud is warmer at the bottom than at the top so the warm air pushes the hail up and the cold air pushes it down. While the hail tumbles around it gains layers as more water forms into ice around it. Once the hailstone is big enough gravity pulls it down to earth.

When hailstones reach earth you can cut them in half and see all the layers if they are big enough. They have clear and cloudy layers and look like geodes which are layered gemstones.

Hail Facts for Kids LearningMole
Hail in green lawn melting in sun rays

Hail Facts for Kids Fact Number 4: Famine

When hail falls it can damage crops and even cause famine. This is a big problem for farmers and in the 16th century they tried to solve that problem. They would shoot guns into thunderclouds to try and break up the hailstones before they could fall on the crops. Unfortunately for the farmers this didn’t work.

Hail Facts for Kids Fact Number 5: Hailstorms

Hailstorms happen most often in America because of their climate. They have over 5000 hailstorms a year which is around 13 per day. American hail storms usually have bigger hailstones than anywhere else too.

Hail Facts for Kids LearningMole
A photo of hailstorm

We hope you enjoyed learning more things about hail as much as we loved teaching you about it. Now that you know how majestic the hail is, you can move on to learn more about our amazing Earth like: Wind, Earthquakes, Tornadoes and Rain.

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