Check out our chart for how to measure hail, using the Torro Hailstorm Intensity Scale.
Hail falls mainly in the summer. It forms in thunderstorm clouds, which can extend high into the atmosphere where extremely cold temperatures prevail.
When a cloud releases rain, the rain can be forced upward, where it freezes into tiny ice pellets.
If updrafts keep buffeting the pellets, layer upon layer of frozen water will be added to the pellets until, finally, hailstones are released.
Did you know? The largest hailstone ever recorded, as of 2010, fell in Coffeyville, Kansas, on September 3, 1970. It was about 17.5 inches in circumference and weighed more than 26 ounces. During that particular hailstorm, citizens reportedly went out to gather the hailstones wearing football helmets for protection!