SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — For the third day of Severe Weather Awareness Week at KCAU 9, we focus on hail, how it forms, when it can cause damage and is considered to be severe.

Severe Weather Awareness Week: Hail

Hailstones are formed when raindrops are carried up and down inside the storm cloud by thunderstorm updrafts. These raindrops collide into extremely cold areas of the atmosphere and then freeze. These hailstones grow larger afterwards, by colliding with supercooled liquid droplets from the cloud.

Severe Weather Awareness Week: Hail

Some types of hail are not too significant, where pea-size hail of 1/4 inch, where these don’t cause too much damage usually, unless there is significant wind along with it. However, once we get up to dime/penny size hail (3/4 inch), and nickel size hail (7/8 inch), these aren’t considered severe, but can at times lead to damage on your roofs.

Anything bigger than that is considered severe where quarter-size hail (1″) can cause some exterior damage as well as damage to plants, where ping-pong size hail can start to significant damage and dents to roofs and plants. Golf ball size hail (1.75″) can not only cause damage to roofs and plants, but this also starts to cause damage to paint and dents from cars.

Tennis-ball size hail (2.5″) and baseball size hail (2.75″) can not only cause harm to homes, cars including windows, and plants, but can also cause harm to people, especially children.

Severe Weather Awareness Week: Hail

Anything higher than that, and toward softball size hail (4″) can destroy just about anything, and even serious injury, and at time can even lead to death.

During any severe weather event, make sure you tune in to KCAU 9 News for the most up to date and accurate information. Make sure to download the new KCAU 9 Weather app, as it sends you alerts for your current location, and best of all, it’s free! Make sure you also have a NOAA Weather Radio, as it is a good tool to keep you ahead of the storm 24/7.

Stay with KCAU 9 News for Severe Weather Awareness topics throughout the week and get the local forecast any time right here.