HAILSTORM (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Geography)

News-CRUX-10     17th October 2023        

Context: An intense hailstorm recently caused massive damage to the crops and fruits in south Kashmir’s Kulgam and Shopian districts.


  • About: Hail is composed of icy balls or lumps and forms during hailstorms, which are storms that bring hail to the ground, typically lasting no more than 15 minutes and causing harm to people, buildings, and vehicles.
  • Hailstorms are most common in mid-latitudes and can be associated with other severe weather events like cyclones and tornadoes.
  • Size: Small pellets to several inches in diameter.

o Conditions for hailstorms include the presence of highly developed Cumulonimbus clouds, strong updrafts, and high concentrations of supercooled liquid water within the clouds.

  • Formation: Water droplet carried by an updraft inside a thundercloud. Other supercooled water droplets adhere to it, creating layers of ice.

o As the water droplet ascends in the cloud and encounters more supercooled particles, the hail embryo grows larger.

  • Favourable Conditions: High degree of instability, High moisture content, Low freezing level, and High vertical wind shear.
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