After yesterday’s weather, I did a little bit of research into hail. And it turns out that hail on a hot day really isn’t as strange as I thought. In fact, it will only hail when there’s a lot of warm air floating around.
Hail forms when rain is pushed UP by a hot air updraft. It’ll go up to where the air is freezing cold, the water will freeze, and it’ll collect more and more ice as it goes up higher and higher in the cloud, even combining with other hailstones, until finally the updraft can’t lift it anymore (or it hits a downdraft) and it’ll fall, collecting more ice on its way back down through the cloud.
The theory of how hail forms has actually changed over the years and I had to rewrite that paragraph after reading more information. It used to be thought that hail would do a cyclical thing going up and down and up and down and adding layers of ice for each cycle. And that theory still holds for some people and some situations and it seems like there’s this debate about the whole thing with the people who believe that there’s just one up and down cycle, but many layers of air that effect how the ice forms around the hailstone. And there are different theories about where this whole process takes place, either at the top of the storm or at the back.
The whole thing just started to get too complicated for me because all I really needed to know was that hail falls up before it falls down. And that was really the most interesting part for me.
I also found it interesting that apparently a lot of people get hail and sleet confused. Probably people who haven’t spent a lot of time in colder climates. Sleet is rain that freezes on its way down. It might start as a snowflake up high, hit a warm layer of air that melts it, and then hit colder air again as it gets closer to the ground. It’ll freeze again before it hits the ground, but it’s basically the opposite of hail, which melts on the way down instead of freezing.
So there you go. That’s your science and meteorology lesson of the day.
Eureka and Warehouse 13 started back up again on Monday so Justin and I have been catching up on that. We missed the Christmas specials that they aired back in December, so one day we watched Warehouse 13’s new episode and the Christmas special for Eurkea, and then the other night we flipped and watched the new Eurkea episode and the Warehouse 13 Christmas special. I love these shows. And it’s probably silly but I find it hilarious that we’re watching the Christmas shows in July while it’s stupidly hot. And there’s more science for you! In Eurkea, Fargo and Zane got shot into space and had to find a way home and in Warehouse 13 . . . people were being killed with pieces of paper. Okay, so not so much on the science. But still! Fun TV!
We have friends coming into town tomorrow evening and staying through the weekend. We’re really looking forward to hanging out with them. They’re the same friends we saw when we passed through Atlanta the last couple times, but this time, they’re coming down to visit us! We’re going to go to the beach and hit Savannah for the sites and play card games (because we’re NERDS) and it’s going to be a whole lot of fun. But if you don’t hear from me for a couple days, it’s because we’re hosting guests.