Hail can make a storm severe. Here's how hailstones grow

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Posted at 5:00 PM, Mar 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-15 18:40:26-04

How big hailstones are when they reach the ground all starts up in the thunderstorm. Frozen water drops get drawn up into the thunderstorm. Each time the hailstone is tossed up into the storm, a layer of ice is added. Eventually, the hailstone becomes too heavy for the winds lifting it up, and it falls to the ground.


Quite a few Hoosiers have a history with hail. Indiana is in the top 10 when it comes to states with insurance claims from hail damage. That's according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Several car windows were shattered when golf ball size hail pelted Castleton during our last big hail storm in June of 2021. That same day, parts of central Indiana even reported hailstones as large as baseballs! Thankfully, a hail event like that doesn't happen often.

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Hail can come in a range of sizes, and not all hail is destructive. The stones can be as small as a quarter inch or pea size, which is fairly common, up to grapefruit size, which is pretty rare. Once a hailstone reaches quarter size, it's considered large enough to be severe and a thunderstorm warning is issued.

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No matter the size, getting hit by hail hurts. That's why it's important to get yourself, family and pets inside *before* any storm approaches. If hail is expected, and you can do so safely, move your car into the garage if you have one. If you're in your car when hail begins to fall, try to pull over and do your best to shield yourself in case of broken glass.

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