The Washington Post

Hail week: Hail bombards U.S., international cities

Over the past week or so, hailstorms have beaten down parts of the U.S. and other parts of the world.  Maybe it’s social media and the ubiquitous availability of weather photos, but I can’t ever recall such an onslaught of hailstorms.

Let’s take a tour.

1) Sunday, May 18, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Related: Freak hailstorm ices over parts of Sao Paulo

2) Tuesday, May 20, near Chicago (Aurora, Illinois)

Related: Dazzling lightning as storms ripped through Chicago Tuesday (PHOTOS)

3) Wednesday, May 21, near Denver 


Hail plow east of Denver, CO and north of Byers. May 21, 2014. (Ian Livingston)

Related: Denver, Colorado area socked by extreme hailstorm, tornadoes (PHOTOS)

4. Thursday, May 22: Reading, Pennsylvania

5. Friday, May 23: Myrtle Beach and Spartanburg, South Carolina

6. Sunday, May 25, 2014: Vilafranca, Spain

7. Monday, May 26, 2014: San Angelo, Texas

Because hail events are so highly localized and we don’t have long-term records, there’s no way to know if the past week’s hail episodes were unusual.  May is certainly the time of year to expect hail – as temperatures at the surface rise quickly due to ever-increasing solar energy while cold air – necessary for making hail – remains at high altitudes.

Jason is the Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.
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