If you live in Colorado, you’re most likely familiar with the bi-polar nature of our weather, specifically storms and the subsequent hail and hail damage.
What The Hail?
Even though golf ball sized hail is not specific to Colorado, the process for it to get that big has a definite relation to the scope of our storms.
Hail begins its life as a super cooled drop of water, which is swirled about in the updraft of a storm. As it rotates through the clouds it gathers water, dust particles and whatever else can get sucked up in a thunderstorm (reportedly some states have seen hailstones with fish or frogs encased within). These elements freeze due to the water’s supercooled temperature and eventually form into a hail stone.
Now depending on how powerful the wind is these stones could go on rotating for quite a while gathering mass. Eventually they become too heavy and drop from the atmosphere to either create a nice, shallow dent on your brand new car, or damage the roof of your house.
We Can All Blame Colorado For This Hail Malarkey
Colorado happens to be one of the most hail prone states in the U.S. and though the majority of the hail occurs in the Rockies, we still feel the impact (literally!) here in the populated counties.
The strong winds from our local thunderstorms also add an extra edge to the hail, namely by increasing damage potential from added momentum.
The Physical and the Monetary
Not only does hail cause a lot of structural damage in Colorado, it is estimated that in 2009 hail was responsible for $767.6 million in monetary damages.
Oh, and here’s some more lovely statistics (Source: http://www.rmiia.org/catastrophes_and_statistics/Hail.asp):
|Date||Location||Cost When Occurred|
|July 20, 2009||Denver Metro||$767.6||$833.5|
|July 11, 1990||Denver Metro||$625.0||$1.1 Billion|
|June 6-15, 2009||Denver Metro||$353.3||$381.2|
|June 6-7, 2012||CO Front Range||$321.1||$325.8|
|June 13-14, 1984||Denver Metro||$276.7||$620.3|
|July 29, 2009||Pueblo||$232.8||$252.7|
|October 1, 1994||Denver Metro||$225.0||$353.6|
|May 22, 2008||Windsor||$193.5||$209.3|
|July 13, 2011||CO Front Range||$164.8||$170.6|
|June 8-9, 2004||Denver Metro||$146.5||$180.6|
|August 11, 1997||Denver Metro||$128.0||$185.7|
|May 22, 1996||Denver Metro||$122.0||$181.1|
*2013 estimated cost calculations based on the Consumer Price Index.
- May 20-22 storms racked up $109 million in Colorado insurance claims (denverpost.com)
- Hail Causes Problems, Flash Flooding For Drivers (denver.cbslocal.com)