|HABYTIME MINI LECTURE 64: HAIL STREAK
METEOROLOGIST JEFF HABY
Hail falls out of a strong storm as the storm moves. This produces what is known as a hail streak. The hail streak will tend to produce a
thin but long band of hail damage on the ground surface.
Hail, especially large hail, requires a strong storm with significant updrafts and downdrafts. The updrafts help suspend the hail stones
aloft which allows them to grow in size through deposition and freezing of water on the hailstone. Hail falls out of the storm between
the updraft and downdraft but the wild wind currents can result in hail falling out in various places in the storm. Generally though,
it is a region between the updraft and downdraft that a significant percentage of the hail falls out of.
Because the hail band is narrow, vastly different hail sizes can fall over locations that are relatively close together. Severe hail can
fall in one place while another place just a half mile away receives small hail. Two places can get large hail that are relatively far
from each other, if they are both in the path of the hail streak.
The diagram below shows hail falling out of a storm and the forward motion of the storm. As hail continues to fall out of the storm it leaves
a hail streak similar to the second diagram. The path of the hail streak can be similar to the path of a tornado.