How does hail form during a storm?

Weather News

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – June, July, and August are the typical thunderstorm and severe weather months here in western Massachusetts. Usually when we get severe storms we get the wind damage, but sometimes we get hail like we did in parts of the area Tuesday.

Hail forms when droplets are pushed higher into the clouds by updrafts. Updrafts are winds that go from bottom to top caused by a lot of lift in a thunderstorm. Those updrafts push those water droplets above the freezing level in a cloud and it starts to freeze the droplets. Once they’re frozen they will continue growing when coming in contact with super-cooled liquid becoming an even larger hailstone.

The hail doesn’t stay in the cloud forever. Eventually when the weight of the hail exceeds the force of the updrafts the hailstone falls down to the ground. The stronger the updrafts the larger the hailstone Can grow.

We had golf ball sized hail in some parts of western Massachusetts on Tuesday.

Hail photos from Tuesday’s storms:

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