From heat to hail: Met Office receives reports of hail in Arouca
From high temperatures to hail, the weather in Trinidad and Tobago continues to be a topic of conversation.
The Trinidad and Tobago Weather Service shared a video of what appeared to be hail, recorded at a house in Arouca, earlier today.
“Reports of hail falling in Arouca. Please feel free to send us videos and photos, please indicate time and place.”
Others commented that a similar event had been observed in Tacarigua.
Earlier this month, the Trinidad and Tobago Weather Service forecast high temperatures in late September and early October. Recently the country recorded its hottest day of the year at about 34.5 degrees Celsius.
According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), hail is a form of precipitation made up of solid ice that forms inside the updrafts of thunderstorms.
If the ice particles are large enough, they can damage planes, homes and cars, and can be fatal to livestock and people.
“Hailstones are formed when raindrops are carried upwards by updrafts from thunderstorms into extremely cold areas of the atmosphere and freeze. Hailstones then develop by colliding with drops of liquid water that freeze on the surface of the hailstones. ice will form as air bubbles will be trapped in the newly formed ice. “
“However, if the water freezes slowly, air bubbles may escape and the new ice will be clear. Hail falls when the updraft of the storm can no longer support the weight of the hail, which can occur if the stone becomes large enough or if the updraft weakens. “
NOAA said hailstones can have clear, cloudy ice layers if the hailstones encounter different temperature and liquid water content conditions during the thunderstorm.
The conditions hail encountered can change as it passes horizontally through or near an updraft. Layers, however, don’t just happen as a result of the rising and falling cycles of hail within a thunderstorm.
The winds within a thunderstorm are not simply up and down; horizontal winds originate either from a rotating updraft, as in supercell storms, or from horizontal winds from the surrounding environment. Hailstones also do not grow after being lifted to the top of the thunderstorm.
At very high altitudes, the air is cold enough (below -40 ° F) that all liquid water has turned to ice, and hailstones need liquid water to grow to a sizable size.
Hail falls when it becomes heavy enough to overcome the force of the storm’s updraft and is attracted to the earth by gravity.
Small hailstones can be blown away by horizontal updraft winds, so larger hail typically falls closer to the updraft than smaller hail.
If the winds near the surface are strong enough, hail can fall sideways or even almost sideways!
Wind-driven hail can tear house siding, shatter windows and blow into houses, shatter car side windows and cause serious injury and / or death to people and animals.
For more on hailstones see here: https://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/hail/