Preparing For Hail Season: The Science Behind Hail

You live in Colorado. You know what serious hail looks like. You’ve done the research on what to do to prevent hail damage to your car. You’ve even read about the benefits of paintless dent repair when hail damage occurs. In an ideal world, you would never need to worry about hail damage or getting paintless dent repair. But this is Denver we’re talking about — and we certainly don’t live in a perfect world. Hail damage does occur (as well as a variety of other potential causes of dents and dings). In some areas, it might be a bit disconcerting to see ice projectiles hurtling towards us from the heavens. Not in Denver!

Since hail damage is bound to occur at some point, it’s important to know what to do next (like learning about our paintless dent repair services), but it’s also useful to know what you’re up against. We all know that hail is a nuisance. We know that hail consists of little (and sometimes not so little) balls of ice. But what, exactly, causes hail? Knowing more about the science behind hail will help you take appropriate precautions to avoid damage to your vehicle and keep you and your family safe. So, let’s get scientific.

Hail Formation

The quick and dirty of hail formation is that strong updrafts from thunderstorms will drive moisture higher and higher into the air until it reaches an elevation where the temperatures are above freezing. As the moisture in the air begins to freeze, the droplets will begin to form into hailstones. Once those hailstones become too heavy, gravity does its thing and the stones drop down to Earth and right onto the hood of your freshly painted Lexus.

A fun fact about these hailstones is that it takes a while for them to become heavy enough to drop out of the clouds. During this time, the updrafts from the storm can drive the hail upwards, at which point they’ll gain some mass and drop, only to have a strong updraft drive it back into the freezing temperatures. This can happen several times before the hail fully drops. Up and down, up and down, more and more water freezing on its outer layers until it’s too massive to stay in the sky. Next time it hails, grab a hailstone and cut it in half. You will be able to see concentric circles like you would in a tree. These circles indicate the number of times the hailstone was driven back up into the atmosphere to accrue more frozen mass.

Hail Damage

The largest ever recorded hailstone came from South Dakota in 2010. It had a circumference of over 18 inches, meaning it was just a few inches shy of the circumference of the average human head. You’d definitely be in need of some paintless dent repair if that were to hit your vehicle! With hail being able to reach up to those sizes, it’s not surprising that hailstorms can be extremely dangerous. Indeed, a hailstorm in India in the late 19th-century caused over two hundred fatalities, making it the deadliest hailstorm in history.

The dangers are very real for Denver. Colorado is ranked as third for states with the most major hail events. There was even a storm in 2017 that caused $2.3 billion in damages to the Denver Metro area.

Hail Repair

With all of this in mind, it really speaks to the importance of taking steps to protect yourself and your possessions from hail damage. It also speaks to the importance of having trustworthy professionals to assist you in any repairs caused from that inevitable hail damage. AJ’s Dent Repair is here to help you. Contact us today for paintless dent repair in Denver.

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