Hail Damage: Measuring Hailstorm Intensity

How to Measure Hail Intensity

July 20, 2018
Ohio Hail

Why does it hail in the summer? How much damage can hail wreak? See our chart on hailstorm intensity!

Why Does It Hail in the Summer?

Hail falls mainly in the summer when thunderstorms are more prevalent.

Thunderstorm clouds can extend high into the atmosphere where extremely cold temperatures prevail. The droplets of water freeze into tiny ice pellets.

Layer upon layer of frozen water is added to the pellets until, finally, hailstones are heavy enough to fall to Earth. 

Measuring Hailstorm Intensity

Hailstorms can cause extensive damage to buildings, especially windows and roofs. 

The Torro Hailstorm Intensity Scale measures and categorizes hailstorms. using a 0 to 10 scale that begins at “no damage” and ends at catastrophic damage. Let’s take a closer look:

Did you know? The largest U.S. hailstone ever recorded, as of 2020, fell near Vivian, South Dakota, on July 23, 2010. It was about 18.5 inches in circumference and weighed almost 2 pounds.

Now, let’s explore thunderstorms! Discover how thunder is born.


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Here is a great site that has

Here is a great site that has live hail storm reports as well as hail history. Stormersite