Does it need to be cold to have hail happen?



  1. 0 Votes

    Yes, hail forms when a gust of wind pushes rain higher into the sky. As the rules of elevation go, the temperature is always colder the higher you go away from earth, so this rain gets frozen at higher elevations and turns to hail. Since hail is heavy, it then falls back down to earth. Sometimes hail gets repeatedly swept up high into the sky and more moisture (which turns to ice) adds to it. That is how very large hail drops to earth, once it is finally too heavy to be swept up anymore.

  2. 0 Votes

    While the other answer has a good explanation of how hail forms, and it indeed needs to be cold, the surface temperature, where the hail lands, can be quite warm. Hail storms in the US occur often enough on hot summer days.

  3. 0 Votes

    I’ve seen hail storms in Arizona on hot summer nights. As rigibson said, hail will fall despite warm surface temperatures, but it does need temperatures at or below freezing to form. Hail forms higher up and fails to melt upon reaching warmer temperatures closer to the surface.

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