“Hail” on a Mountain in Arizona

Louis J. Battan Institute of Atmospheric Physics, University of Arizona, Tucson

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David S. Wilson Jr. Institute of Atmospheric Physics, University of Arizona, Tucson

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Abstract

Visual observations on several mountain peaks in the Santa Catalina Mountains in southeastern Arizona reveal that solid ice particles commonly fall from cumulonimbus clouds in the summer. Hailstones having diameters >2 cm occurred on only one day out of a total of 76 days over a four-summer period. On the other hand, on the top of a 2800-m peak, ice or snow pellets or hail fell on 18 out of 30 observational days during a two-summer period. It seems reasonable to speculate that virtually all thunderstorms in this area contain such particles at some stage in their development.

Abstract

Visual observations on several mountain peaks in the Santa Catalina Mountains in southeastern Arizona reveal that solid ice particles commonly fall from cumulonimbus clouds in the summer. Hailstones having diameters >2 cm occurred on only one day out of a total of 76 days over a four-summer period. On the other hand, on the top of a 2800-m peak, ice or snow pellets or hail fell on 18 out of 30 observational days during a two-summer period. It seems reasonable to speculate that virtually all thunderstorms in this area contain such particles at some stage in their development.

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