Diary

Freak Hail Storm in NJ - Do Not Adjust Your Set

(I think the phrase, common in the analog world, is appropriate considering the entire country just went digital over the weekend)

This happened just this afternoon.

http://wcbstv.com/local/washington.township.hail.2.1045714.html

Something for the recordbooks, ladies and gentlemen, and wonderfully amusing in June, but it comes with a caveat from me. 

Please, don’t fall into the trap of ascribing today’s event as further proof that AGW is bogus.  There are better reasons.  This isn’t directly related.  Hail, despite the fact that it is made of ice, is strictly a warm weather phenomenon, associated with thunderstorms.  Liquid water must travel with storm updrafts to the ice anvil above the storm.  The drop freezes, and falls, and iteratively gets pushed back up to gather another layer of ice on its surface.  Seriously strong updrafts from seriously energetic storms allow more layers.  Eventually the mass of the hail wins and it falls through the rain.  Imagine how big the hail had to be before melting on the way down.  Dime-sized hail is somewhat respectible.  Enough to cover the ground in NJ in 70 degree weather is most impressive.

I have seen this happen precisely twice in my life (enough dime-sized hail to cover a few inches on the ground), as a teenager in Texas.  And then fifteen minutes later, not a cloud in the sky.  I’ve described it people up here who thought I was making it up.  Well, at least I know everyone else is hallucinating now…

Enjoy!

Sam