If you happened to be out and about on the streets of Mesquite Thursday, Jan. 7 you may have had to duck and dodge the BB size pellets of hail that fell from the stormy skies.
According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory Hail is a form of precipitation that occurs when updrafts in thunderstorms carry raindrops upward into extremely cold areas of the atmosphere where they freeze into balls of ice.
Hailstones grow by colliding with super cooled water drops. Super cooled water will freeze on contact with ice crystals, frozen raindrops, dust or some other nuclei. Thunderstorms that have a strong updraft keep lifting the hailstones up to the top of the cloud where they encounter more super cooled water and continue to grow. The hail falls when the thunderstorm’s updraft can no longer support the weight of the ice or the updraft weakens. The stronger the updraft the larger the hailstone can grow.