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Local Thunderstorm Hail Hazards
Local Hazard Lightning.
Risk Level
Hazard Description
None
  • No hazard expected
Low
  • Chance of a damaging hail (>1 inch in diameter [size of a quarter or larger]) is in the 5-15% range.
  • Hail size is generally expected to be less than 1 inch in diameter (dime/penny size or smaller).
Moderate
  • Chance of a damaging hail (>1 inch in diameter [size of a quarter or larger]) is in the 15-25% range.
  • Hail size is generally expected to be in the 1 to 1.5 inch in diameter range (quarter to walnut/ping pong ball size).
High
  • Chance of a damaging hail (>1 inch in diameter [size of a quarter or larger]) is greater than 25%.
  • Hail size is generally expected to be greater than 1.5 inch in diameter (walnut/ping pong ball size or larger).

General Information

Picture of hail. Hail is the result of rising currents of air within a storm called updrafts, which cary water droplets to a height where freezing occurs. Ice particles grow in size, until they become too heavy to be supported by the updraft, and fall to the ground.

Large hail causes $1 billion in damage to property and crops each year.

Hail can grow to sizes larger than grapefuit and fall to the ground at speeds faster than 100 mph.

For additional information visit:

Thunderstorm Safety Tips:

Before Lightning Strikes...

  • Keep an eye on the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of light, or increasing wind. Listen for the sound of thunder.
  • If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for the latest weather forecasts.

When a Storm Approaches...

  • Find shelter in a building or car. Keep car windows closed and avoid convertibles.
  • Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Unplug appliances. Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. (Leaving electric lights on, however, does not increase the chances of your home being struck by lightning.)
  • Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.
  • Turn off the air conditioner. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressor, resulting in a costly repair job!
  • Draw blinds and shades over windows. If windows break due to objects blown by the wind, the shades will prevent glass from shattering into your home.

If Caught Outside...

  • If you are in the woods, take shelter under the shorter trees.
  • If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately!

Protecting Yourself Outside...

  • Go to a low-lying, open place away from trees, poles, or metal objects. Make sure the place you pick is not subject to flooding.
  • Be a very small target! Squat low to the ground. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them. Make yourself the smallest target possible.
  • Do not lie flat on the ground--this will make you a larger target!

After the Storm Passes...

  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas.
  • Listen to the radio for information and instructions.

If Someone is Struck by Lightning...

  • People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge and can be handled safely.
  • Call for help. Get someone to dial 9-1-1 or your local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) number.
  • The injured person has received an electrical shock and may be burned, both where they were struck and where the electricity left their body. Check for burns in both places. Being struck by lightning can also cause nervous system damage, broken bones, and loss of hearing or eyesight.
  • Give first aid. If breathing has stopped, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR. If the person has a pulse and is breathing, look and care for other possible injuries. Learn first aid and CPR by taking a Red Cross first aid and CPR course. call your local Red Cross chapter for class schedules and fees.
The Graphical Weather Threats Assesment is an outlook for planning purposes only !!!

This graphic is valid for roughly a 24 hour period from the time of issuance (between 4 AM and 6 AM) until 8 AM the following morning. The highest expected risk possible for the duration of the graphic will be depicted. Only one of the listed criteria needs to be met for inclusion in a higher risk category.

Updates will be posted for significant forecast changes and as time permits.

The outlook graphics are an effort to improve the interpretation of our outlooks and statements. This product is provided for emergency managers, law enforcement, schools, local media, businesses, and the public. Use the graphical hazardous weather outlook to factor the threat of hazardous weather into your daily plans.

DISCLAIMER: This is a service designed to supplement pre-existing, official means of communication. Timeliness and reliability of products obtained from the Internet are not guaranteed.

This project is being developed in an effort to achieve goals set forth in the National Weather Service's Strategic Plan.

Send e-mail with your comments and suggestions to Ron Murphy

US Dept of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Weather Service
Binghamton Weather Forecast Office
32 Dawes Drive
Johnson City, NY 13790
(607) 729-1597
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Page last modified: December 3, 2009