Hail

Hail

Some thoughts on the ugly gift a severe thunderstorm can give.

Whenever a severe thunderstorm is roaring over the apartment building I live in, my ears prick in anticipation of a certain sound that can get mixed with the noise of rain drumming on the roof and walls like it was pouring out of a fire hose. Whenever the storm begins to fade and I still have not heard it, I am relieved, because the sound of hail has not come.

 

Whenever my ears do pick it up amidst the sound of gushing water and claps of thunder, the sound hail makes as it hits and rebounds off the shingles is like that of a million golf balls. Sometimes if it is light enough outside, I can even see it coming thanks to hail giving severe thunderstorms a greenish tint.  

Whenever it falls, it leaves behind sights like the one above, and it is an ugly sight, since frozen ice pelting the earth in the warmer months is does not make a pretty picture.  

The damage it leaves behind is even uglier.  Hail can batter cars, aircraft, glass roofs, skylights, roofs in general and even crops. Animals and humans too are vulnerable, and no wonder: imagine getting bonked on the head by a piece of hail the size of a grapefruit! It would give you no end of pain, maybe even be a cause of death.  And this stuff can get up to the size of bowling balls if the severe thunderstorm spitting it out is strong enough.

The ugliest-looking of this ugly gift severe thunderstorms can give are the larger-sized hail stones that have spikes all over them.   They make my skin crawl, because they look like a caricature of a snowflake.

To date, I have only seen hail as large as a golf ball, but that is no picnic, especially when your car is parked outdoors, vulnerable to the elements. Good luck has been with me, however, in that I have not had to deal with the chaos of an automobile with windows shattered and body so badly dented by hail as to look like it had been set on by a horde of vandals.

I have not (nor ever will) let my guard down whenever I hear hail rebounding off my roof, though, and will always race to see if my car is all right. With hail –as in all forms of severe weather- you never know what it will do until it is right on top of you.