Colorado sits in the United States region where it meets Nebraska and Wyoming, known as Hail Alley. This area also includes parts of Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma.
The Colorado Springs to Denver metro area averages 13 severe hail events per year and the hail damage repair Denver CO offers is vital for residents.
Hail can fall at an angle if the winds at the surface are strong enough, resulting in broken windows on cars or houses, torn home siding, destroyed roofs and injuries to people or animals.
Hail can cause significant damage to cars, including:
- Dents in the body of the automobile
- Cracked or shattered windshield
- Water damage on the interior of the vehicle
Due to the high elevation, hail also falls faster in the Mile High City, causing more significant damage to homes and vehicles. A 2017 Denver hailstorm caused $2.3 billion in damages.
Raindrops pushed to higher altitudes by updrafts in thunderstorm clouds freeze into ice. These ice pieces then combine with other rainwater droplets, causing them to increase in size. When updrafts are strong, hailstones repeat the cycle many times, causing them to grow large. As they become heavy, they fall to the ground.
The elevation of Denver is a mile closer to freezing temperatures than areas at sea-level. In warmer places, hail forms but turns back into rain as it falls to the ground. Hail in Colorado has less time to warm up as it falls, causing it to remain icy when it hits.
Additionally, mountain ranges have more updrafts pulling warm air up into the atmosphere, making Colorado’s Rocky Mountains coupled with high elevation the perfect storm for creating these icy trajectories.
Downward winds combined with gravity can thrust large hailstones at speeds of more than 100 mph. Giant hailstones falling fast can cause catastrophic damage, but even moderate hailstorms can harm automobiles, property and crops.
The National Weather Service’s hail chart measures hailstones from the size of peas to the size of softballs. Scientists classify hailstones that are 6 inches across or larger in the gargantuan category. There have been around 10 reports of hail this size in the U.S. during the last two decades. This massive size is rare, but people should know that the size does vary and prepare with caution when the forecast predicts a hailstorm.
Each spring and summer, ice pellets of all sizes cause damage to Denver residents’ cars. These storms are a part of living in Colorado, so it is wise to pay attention to weather forecasts and take preventative measures.