Hail is a large frozen raindrop produced by
intense thunderstorms, where snow and rain can coexist in the central
updraft. As the snowflakes fall, liquid water freezes, forming ice balls
that will continue to grow as more and more droplets are accumulated.
Upon reaching the bottom of the cloud, some of the ice balls are carried
by the updraft back up to the top of the storm.
As the ice balls once again fall through the
cloud, another layer of ice is added and the hail stone grows even
larger. Typically the stronger the updraft, the more times a hail stone
repeats this cycle and consequently, the larger it grows. Once the hail
stone becomes too heavy to be supported by the updraft, it falls out of
the cloud toward the surface. The hail stone reaches the ground as ice
since it is not in the warm air below the thunderstorm.
Baseball size hail