can occur anywhere in the world where convective storms occur. Near mountainous
terrain, the additional uplift often increases hail occurrences. Some of the
highest frequencies of hail occur in western China and
northern India. Hail
also occurs frequently near the Alps in Europe, Andes in S.
America, and in mountainous east Africa. Australia also has
hail, particularly in New South Wales. For
information on Australian hail, see: http://www.boin.gov.au/weather/nsw/sevwx/hailfact.shtml
for the 1999 Sidney, Australia
hailstorm. The climatology of hailstorms
in Great Britain may be
seen at: http://www.torro.org .
In the United
States, hails most frequently occur in
Hail Alley: The Great
Plains states, especially northeastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming, receive more hail yearly than any
other part of the United States. The states experiencing the most
frequent hail include: Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. Hail in this area of the country is most likely to
fall late in the afternoon during the months of May and June and is often
responsible for extensive crop loss, property damage and livestock
deaths. While hail is most frequent in NE Colorado, severe hail (3/4” or greater, or
damaging) shows highest frequencies further east, in Oklahoma.
Geography of large hail
Large hail is known to
farmers and insurance companies as the most destructive. In the map below, hail
of 2” and greater is mapped.
(source: NSSL, NOAA)
To look for hail occurrences in any state of the United
States, please go to http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/hazard/hazardmap.html
A map of severe hail in Colorado
shows that not all of the state has high risk for damaging hail. However, of the 1200 reported events,
clusters appear in NE Colorado over the High Plains
parallel to the Rocky Mountains.
Distribution of severe hail in Colorado.
For more information on Colorado
hail, please go to
hailstorm of 1998 is discussed at:
Canadian hailstorms occur most frequently to the east of the
Rockies in Alberta,
with damaging hail also occurring along the southern portions of the Prairie
For information on hailstorm patterns in Alberta
using radar, see: