Why do we have hail storms in the summer?

Hail storms damage inspectionIce in the sky in August?

It is not uncommon for parts of the Charlotte and Concord areas to endure periodic hail storms that can leave the landscape looking more like a winter wonderland than our customary baking-hot summer. Enormous thunderstorms will pass through, delivering torrential downpours and blanket of hailstones. The sight, let alone the thought of a hail storm in summer will always seem strange. We are left to ponder how can ice fall from the sky in July or August? Is something strange happening to our weather? Actually, it is pretty common for hailstorms to occur during the summer. In fact, many hail storms can be observed during the warmest months of the year.

Why are there hail storms during summer?

Hailstones form under very specific conditions, and surface temperature has little or nothing to do with their formation. Hail stones are formed in and during the presence of giant, towering cumulonimbus clouds. These clouds are commonly linked to thunderstorms, and they rise in to great heights in the atmosphere. They grow especially large during the summer because the heated air known as thermals forms the cloud as it clashes with the super cold air of the upper atmosphere.

Layers of ice form

As cumulonimbus clouds form high in the atmosphere, the uppermost part of the cloud becomes extremely cold, allowing ice crystals to form. These ice crystals make contact with water droplets, which freezes in layers on contact with the ice crystal. The updraft of air in a cumulonimbus can be so strong that the ice crystal does not immediately fall out of the cloud. The ice crystals get carried back upwards, allowing more water droplets to freeze onto what eventually becomes a hailstone. Each time that the hailstone goes up and down within a cloud, it steadily grows in size. Eventually, the size and weight of the hailstone will become so great that gravity takes over and the hailstone falls down to the earth.

This process is clearly evident if a hailstone is cut in half and examined under a microscope. There will be layers of clear and opaque ice, very similar to an onion.

Why hailstones do not melt

Hailstones are often driven by severe winds, and fall too fast to melt before they reach the earth. Some hailstones are of tremendous size, even comparable to a tennis ball or a baseball. But even pea sized hailstones can cause damage to vehicles, crops, outdoor furniture, vinyl siding and roofing. It is important to have your roof inspected by a Charlotte roofing company after any hail storm to make sure that that there is no damage that can eventually lead to a leaking roof.

A dependable Charlotte roofing contractor

To find the best roofing companies, you should look for the most trustworthy and reputable ones. Advanced Roofing and Exteriors has been serving the Charlotte and Concord areas for over twenty years. They are fully licensed, insured and bonded roofing contractor. They carry an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau and received multiple years Super Service Award from Angie’s List. Make them your first consideration when you call Charlotte roofing companies about hailstorm damage on your roof.