Each year, hailstorms lead to crop and property damage across the United States. While every state can be the target of a hailstorm, some states are more at risk than others.
Landlocked states in the Great Plains and the Midwest are most frequently impacted by hailstorms. That’s because hail commonly occurs in regions where the air’s freezing altitude dips below 11,000 feet.
The region where Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming meet tops the list as the most common location for hailstorms. It is appropriately known as Hail Alley. The city of Cheyenne, Wyoming, experiences more hailstorms than any other city, with upwards of 10 hailstorms a year.
Hailstorms can occur during the spring, summer or fall months. The majority of these storms appear between May and September.
How do I know if hail is coming?
In order for a hailstorm to occur, atmospheric conditions must be right. Thunderstorm clouds must be present. In order to produce hail, they must have high moisture content and a large portion of their cloud layer must be at freezing temperatures. Meteorological readings can often predict when a hailstorm is on the way.
If you are concerned about an upcoming hailstorm, your first step is to listen to a weather report. If you are away from a television or a radio, then look to the sky. Gray clouds, rain, thunder or lighting are all signs of a possible hailstorm. You should also take note if you feel a sudden drop in temperature. Cold fronts are a strong indicator that hail or other forms of severe weather are on their way and that you’ll be safer indoors.
Next, get tips about how to drive in hailstorm.