Louisiana Residents Urged to Prepare for Hail Damage
In the world of weather, hail doesn't get quite the publicity that other forms of weather seem to get. We are all painfully aware of the destructive powers of hurricanes and tornadoes. Most of us have experienced flooding of some kind too. And I'd be willing to bet we've all had a fence lean because of strong gusty straight-line winds as well. But most of us don't know much about what to do if we experience hail.
First things first, let's understand what hail is and how it's formed and why today's round of thunderstorms is more likely to produce hail than some of the previous storm systems we've experienced over the past few months.
In the video, they showed how water droplets get caught in the strong updrafts of thunderstorms. Once the water is in a part of the atmosphere that's below freezing it becomes ice and begins to fall back toward Earth. However, if the updrafts are strong enough the ice particle will be kicked back up into the frozen temperatures where it refreezes and becomes larger.
Eventually, the ice particle becomes too heavy for the strong updrafts to keep it suspended. It's at that time it falls to the ground as a hailstone. Most of the time when we see hail in South Louisiana it's pea-sized or smaller. Every now and then we get some larger hailstones in bigger storms and that's where the damage can really set in.
Hail is mentioned as a hazard by the National Weather Service in today's round of strong storms so it's highly likely that someone somewhere in South Louisiana will suffer some damage from the falling ice.
It's important to note for insurance purposes the date of any hail damage. Trust me, the insurance company will do their homework and verify that your area experienced a hailstorm on the day you're making the claim. This is especially important to note if you are looking to get insurance relief for a damaged roof.
Check out this note from Daniel Phillips at KATC, he knows why you'll be calling after the storm.
As far as your automobile goes, if you can park it in a covered parking area, especially around lunchtime or shortly after lunchtime today then you'll be miles ahead should the area be hit with a hailstorm as part of the passing frontal system.
Most damage to cars comes in the form of broken windows and dents and dings on the hood, roof, and trunk of the vehicle. If you have an older car significant hail damage could actually be enough to total your vehicle. So, it is a good idea to make a plan now, just in case.
Farmers hate hailstorms. The falling ice not only damages crops but can actually destroy a crop. Granted there's no real way to protect an entire field from hail damage but it is important to note that the damage occurred and document it with video if possible.
While it is possible for humans to be killed by hailstones it is quite rare. In fact, Weather Underground reports that only three people in modern U.S. history have been killed by falling hailstones. However, I am sure there are a lot of people that have been hurt by them. Pets too, so make sure they have shelter as well.
The good news is that once this storm system passes through we should have incredible weather for the next week or so. Perhaps it will even get warm enough to make you want to get yourself wet. And if that's the case, have we got some ideas for you.
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